Three in 10 Britons to spend less in festive period – Deloitte

LONDON (Reuters) – Almost three in 10 UK consumers plan to spend less in the festive period this year than last year, reflecting the impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, according to survey data published by Deloitte on Tuesday.

However, it said its data did show a seven percentage-point rise in the number of UK consumers – from 19% in 2022 to 26% in 2023 – who intend to spend more in the last three months of 2023, partly as a result of prioritising any savings they’ve made for their Christmas expenditure.

Deloitte said many UK consumers are looking to spread their spending across the quarter, with 32% saying they will buy most of their gifts in November, making the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.

It said 50% of respondents this year also said they plan to buy their presents in-store, up from 47% in last year’s survey.

“The Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend promotions are critical for retailers, and we expect overall spending to increase again this year as consumers try to make the most of the available sales on offer,” Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, head of retail at Deloitte, said.

Deloitte’s findings on the number of UK consumers planning to spend less this Christmas are similar to an earlier survey from PwC.

So far this year, despite high inflation and other pressures on the cost of living, UK consumer demand has generally held up.

Industry data published earlier this month did show consumer spending lost pace in September, with warm weather hitting sales of autumnal clothing, knitwear and coats.

However, Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, has said it is upbeat about Christmas prospects.

Also, in anticipation of robust trading, retailers including Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer plan to hire more temporary workers for the festive season than last year.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Hugh Lawson)