UK: The Retail Review - Christmas Retail Survey 2006, Are Alarm Bells Ringing?

Last Updated: 15 November 2006
Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

Welcome

Welcome to our 12th annual survey of consumer and retail sector confidence. Since 1995, Deloitte has carried out this in-depth analysis of the spending habits and the underlying moods of both consumers and retailers ahead of the all-important Christmas period.

We gather extensive consumer data ahead of the main Christmas shopping rush, as well as polling the opinions of a cross-section of the UK’s retailers. By taking an in-depth look at buying intentions and perceptions across different regions and demographic groups, we have been able to build up a very detailed picture of the retail landscape.

This report, which is just a snapshot of what we’ve discovered, has thrown up some interesting findings.

It seems consumers are more pessimistic than they have been in recent times, but this is not shared by retailers who are expecting good things this Christmas. Retailers’ optimism seems to be supported by a return of the consumers to the high street at the expense of the department store. Also surprisingly this year, pensioners are more likely than any other age group to pay for Christmas on credit.

To help offer some insight into this year’s fascinating survey we have included our own views on some of the key retail issues both in the short and longer term.

Many people have contributed to this document, and I’d like to thank them all – particularly the retailers who have shared important insights with us over the years. I hope you will find it informative and useful. Certainly the data we collect and the analysis we carry out has helped us to understand the underlying dynamics of this vitally important industry in depth and has contributed to the expertise we provide across so many disciplines in the consumer business sector.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a prosperous and profitable Christmas and New Year. I hope you find this year’s survey thought provoking and useful in your business.
Richard Lloyd-Owen
UK Lead Partner
Retail, Consumer Products & Services Group

Highlights

  • Gift retailers can expect a bumper Christmas this year as the swing-o-meter reflects consumers intention to switch spending from socialising to gifts. Predicted gift spend is up by almost 22% from last year, but pubs and nightclubs will need to work harder for the festive pound as consumers plan to cut what they spend on socialising.
  • Retailers are more optimistic this year with 94% confident that their like for like sales will be the same or improve, compared to 69% last year, encouraged by the recent uplift in sales during the summer.
  • Consumers are particularly pessimistic over the state of the economy, but they are still happy to spend, buoyed by house price increases.
  • More and more pensioners are ready to pay for Christmas on credit than ever before – higher than any other age group.
  • To keep the children happy, give them cash, vouchers or an MP3 player.
  • Music CDs are still topping the charts for the most popular gift, but we are losing the will to shop. More of us are finishing our shopping later and opting for gift vouchers than ever before.
  • Those braving the crowds are opting for the high street over the department store. A distinct turnaround in fortunes is expected for high street retailers this year.
  • We do care for others when we buy our Christmas shopping as social and ethical issues are a concern for more than half of consumers, much higher than environmental issues. Men were far more concerned than women with product safety and energy efficiency.
  • It’s going to be a while before we use the self service checkouts for our ‘big shop’. They are viewed quite positively by half of consumers, but it seems shoppers still like the personal touch.

Industry analysis

Innovate, improve or die

At Deloitte we have been of the view for some time now that the retail industry is caught in the classic squeeze between vigorous competition, increasing costs and a more discerning, knowledgeable and promiscuous consumer. Driven primarily by the strategies of the major grocers, consumers have been conditioned to an era of almost permanent price deflation which has impacted on everything from baked beans through to home electrical products and even seriously big ticket items such as cars and diamond rings.

Against this backdrop of falling retail prices, UK consumers now expect convenience, availability, value for money, quality and variety – these aren’t "nice to haves" for today’s shopper they are "must haves". Irrespective of sector, today’s retailer needs to tick as many of these boxes as possible as often as possible. In today’s market where there is no such thing as the "average customer" that’s no mean feat, and a one size fits all approach simply will not wash. Customer loyalty takes many years to develop and mere seconds to lose.

These high consumer expectations in isolation make retail a hard sector in which to achieve success. Adding in regulatory issues such as food safety, complex and disparately executed planning rules, anti-competitive investigations and employment acts such as the age discrimination bill and working time directive, then the pressure intensifies still further.

And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s another burden to shoulder in the form of a steadily rising cost base. Wages, pensions, rent and in particular energy costs are all increasing meaning that before retailers even open the doors and let the customers in their cost to operate leaves little room for making profit.

So this unholy trinity is making life exceptionally difficult and we continue to see their effects. Profit warnings, restructuring and liquidations have been widespread across the sector and in our view will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

Yet remarkably despite all of this, the overall picture is by no means one of unending doom and gloom.

The UK continues to show net increases in floor space dedicated to individual retail outlets or new shopping centres. Private Equity interest in the sector shows little sign of waning and there is still plenty of corporate activity both actual and rumoured across the sector. Clearly there are still many who believe retail can deliver consistent and strong returns. We couldn’t agree more but it’s not easy by any means.

Today’s winning retailers are those who don’t stand still for a minute. Constant evaluation, reinvention and revision of the overall offering are vital contributors to success. But none of this matters without focussing on understanding your customers and their needs and wants as fully as possible. Innovation is one of the keys to success – but not innovation for innovations sake. What seems like the best ideas in the world quickly start to become detrimental if they don’t work for the ever more sophisticated consumer. Interestingly we see this as an area where many retailers may look to learn lessons from their supplier community who in many sectors have a rich history of innovation and new product development.

The outstanding retailers in all sectors are those who continue to put the customer first by investing time and effort in understanding the values, wants and behaviours of those whose custom they are looking to attract and grow. Acquiring this knowledge is one thing but interpreting it and then acting upon it to refresh, extend, and continually improve your offering is what continues to mark the winners. The battleground for retailers today is about convenience, value, product range and availability, having the right location and in-store excellence. This is what the consumers tell us and those that listen should succeed.
Tarlok Teji
Lead Partner UK Retail

Nervous consumers, but confident retailers

Who will be left holding the pudding?

In the run up to Christmas everyone is nervously trying to second-guess consumer optimism. Like a complex game of chess, retailers are permanently poised with their ‘sale’ signs not wanting to jump the gun and discount too early, nor do they want to leave it too late and be the one left holding the pudding.

From the retailers’ perspective, things are on the up

Retailer confidence is clearly evident in this year’s survey with the pessimism of 12 months ago all but disappearing. When asked how the UK economy would perform over the next year, 21% of retailers predicted an improvement – a sharp increase from just 6% last year. Only 18% expect the economy to deteriorate, down from 54% last year.

Retailers also expect like–for-like sales over Christmas to increase, with 64% foreseeing a significant improvement or improvement in sales compared to just 40% last year. So the shoppers who hunger for a pre-Christmas bargain could be disappointed as the early January sales just don’t seem as likely to happen this year.

Consumers see Christmas as another cost to bear

With higher mortgage repayments, rising utility bills and unstable petrol prices, it’s no surprise that some consumers are feeling nervous. Nearly half (46%) said they thought a deterioration in the economy was likely – a leap from last year’s 35%. Women are the most pessimistic of all, particularly those aged between 45 and 64 and those living in Yorkshire with more than half of each group expressing concern over the economy. Conversely, the Midlands and North East are the most optimistic regions.

If you’ve got it – spend it!

We also asked consumers about the changes that might affect their planned Christmas spend this year:

 

Family or personal circumstances

Income

Plans to save

Utility bills

Mortgage

Rent

Will affect spend

44%

31%

27%

25%

16%

15%

No change in spend

56%

69%

73%

75%

84%

85%

It seems that consumers won’t let changes to their mortgage repayments spoil Christmas with 84% suggesting that they aren’t overly concerned with another hike in interest rates. Changes in personal circumstances such as a new addition to the family and income are most likely to affect consumers. Only when there is a change to household bills would men be more likely than women to change their spending habits.

Interestingly only 31% of consumers confirmed that they would increase their spending should they receive a timely boost to their income. That said, the 16 to 24 group far exceeded the national average for wanting to spend with a staggering 50% saying a pay rise would cause them to spend more at Christmas. Understandably the 65 and over age group was more cautious with only 14% willing to spend more even after a financial boost.

Industry analysis

Do unpredictable energy prices mean that the heat is on for retailers?

The volatility of the global energy markets amid growing environmental concerns will continue to take their toll on everyone’s pocket.

Companies have been harder hit this year than any other when oil prices reached record highs, although this was followed by more recent falls in prices. Energy spend is increasingly becoming a number one concern for producers of consumer goods where Chief Financial Officers are increasingly reviewing how power is bought and from whom, and how to reduce overheads with better efficiency.

Other factors such as dwindling domestic gas reserves, growing reliance on overseas supply, and the impending retirement of the UK’s nuclear fleet have added to industry’s woes. Globalisation continues to be a threat with producers in emerging economies seemingly less affected by the cost of energy consumption.

As a result, some producers have been quick to adopt bio fuel alternatives such as natural gas, combined heat and power (CHP) and biomass, taking advantage of tax breaks based on CO2 emission reductions being offered as they do so. Even so, the renewables sector contributes a tiny percentage of output to the UK’s energy mix – just 4 %.

However, the long-term effects of rising production costs are yet to be passed fully along the supply chain and consumers could well see prices rise further in 2007. With the growth of online purchasing already strong and predicted to increase, retailers could seize on the opportunity to cut energy overheads and reduce their own environmental impact by downsizing their physical presence. However, finding an acceptable solution to ensuring the security of energy supply, whilst reducing emissions and optimising affordability will continue to be both technically and politically challenging.
Tom James
Energy, Infrastructure & Utilities

Key fact
According to our survey changes to the cost of energy and utilities will affect 25% of consumers this year, stating that they are less likely to carry on spending, an opinion reenforced by 36% of retailers surveyed.

Home sweet home for most of us this Christmas

But would we rather be getting away from it all?

Whether we like it or not, we will be spending time at home with the family this Christmas. A total of 87% of consumers said that they will be spending time with their family with 84% predicting that this would be in their own home or that of close family.

However when asked, men would rather just spend time with their partner than with their kids, whereas women would rather be with their children than their partner.

Where possible the youngest age groups will try to stay with friends rather than spend time with their distant relatives. Those aged 16 to 24 are more than twice as likely as any other age group to want to break away from the family nest at this time of year.

Only 5% of consumers surveyed said that they are likely to spend Christmas alone, unsurprisingly, the majority of these, 69%, were over 55 years of age.

The great escape

Low cost airlines and heavy discounting over the last twelve months by other carriers means that it is now cheaper than ever to go abroad. Increased use of the internet to book flights and hotels means that consumers can create their own budget breaks by cutting out the middleman.

Unsurprisingly, those that can get away will, with the 45 to 54 consumer age group the most likely to flee, followed closely by those aged 55 to 65 and the over 65 age groups. These groups are less likely to have dependent children and more likely to have sufficient disposable income for a winter break and therefore this trend isn’t much of a shock. However, it seems some of us are more anxious to get away from it all than others. Those in Northern Ireland are least likely to want to go on holiday at Christmas, very few here opted to go on holiday or stay with friends, preferring to stay at home or the home of close family.

Key fact
Within the regions, the Welsh (7%) are the most likely to go abroad for Christmas, compared to the national average of just 4%.

Keeping customer data safe

The introduction of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is perhaps one of the biggest IT challenges for retailers in recent years.

Created by Visa and MasterCard, the industry-wide standard has been designed to ensure that sensitive cardholder data is always secure. PCI DSS, which is based on best practice principles, therefore applies to any organisation that stores, transmits or processes credit cards including member banks, merchants and service providers.

Its introduction is timely. Concerns over data security have risen exponentially over the past two years with consumers understandably concerned over fraud and identity theft. Card-notpresent fraud still continues to be the biggest single type of fraud in the UK with losses, currently in excess of £150m, increasing in line with the growth of businesses offering transactions by phone or online.

Under the new standards, merchants are expected to install firewalls, encrypt data transmissions, ensure anti-virus software is updated, develop and maintain secure systems and applications, restrict access to data by business need to know, assign a unique ID to each person with computer access and restrict physical access to cardholder data. They are also expected to track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data, regularly test security systems and processes, and maintain a policy that addresses information security.

The implications are significant. Retailers must not only build and maintain a secure network but maintain a vulnerability management programme, implement strong access control measures and regularly test and monitor their networks. Moreover, adapting to the new regime will need good change management and governance as successful implementation will need strong leadership and appropriate staff training.

Merchants that fail to comply with the standard face the prospect of fines that could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds, or being permanently barred from the card acceptance programme should a security breach occur.

Most of the retailers surveyed are on track to ensure compliance with the PCI DSS, as 90% are either already compliant or are due to be by the June 2007 deadline. 18% are however going to leave it until the last minute.

However, the benefits of compliance are considerable. Having the proper controls and processes in place should eliminate the risk of any penalties if a breach does occur. Furthermore, with the threat of fraud and identity theft omnipresent, consumers will no doubt feel reassured by an organisation’s PCI DSS status, which can go a long way to maintaining brand "trust" and gaining the competitive edge over less diligent retailers.
Mike Maddison
Technology Assurance & Advisory

Key fact
Worryingly, 10% of retailers stated that PCI DSS would not be applicable to their business.

The final countdown

A last minute dash or a stroll to the finish?

Christmas shopping comes but once a year, but some shoppers just can’t wait to get started. We see every year that retailers seem to start their Christmas displays earlier and earlier, but is it really tempting shoppers to buy?

Key fact
Department stores Harrods and Selfridges were amongst the first retailers off the starting blocks, with Christmas displays in store straight after summer sales in the first week of August.

Christmas tills start ringing in October

Our survey suggests that Christmas shopping will start early again this year with 35% of eager consumers planning to make a start before November – an increase from 32% last year. It is clear that female shoppers prefer to have time to decide what to buy friends and loved ones, with 46% initiating Christmas shopping before November.

The 25 to 34 age group and the North East consumers were the most keen to start their Christmas shopping early with 43% and 42%, respectively, starting before November – far exceeding the national average.

However, Christmas shopping is not high on the agenda for men with 14% leaving the joys of gift shopping to the last week in December. But their late shopping habits could hold benefits for retailers as men plan to spend more on gifts. It seems that many are happy to grab high value items to get their shopping done as quickly as possible, either because they want to enjoy the festivities or the stores are moments from closing!

Key fact
Consumers in Yorkshire are the least likely to get started early, with over one third actually waiting until Christmas Eve. Our survey also shows that they are also least likely to enjoy Christmas shopping and will be one of the lowest spending of all of the regions.

Just as Christmas shopping will start early, 41% of consumers predict that their shopping will be completed by mid December so they can then relax and enjoy the build up to the Christmas festivities. In general however, we will be putting our feet up even later than last year with 32% of us not planning to finish until Christmas Eve, compared to 25% last year. But it’s not just the men, as 26% of women versus 39% of men planning to make that last minute festive dash this year.

Collaboration is the key to success

Fifty years ago the average margin for a grocery retailer in the UK was around 40%. Today it’s closer to 4%. More significantly, the last decade has seen an unprecedented level of competition and consolidation as domestic grocers have fought for market share.

Recently we have seen the arrival and growth of the so called "hard discounters" such as Aldi and Lidl who are now predicted to take a 10% slice of the UK’s £90bn grocery market over the next 10 years. Whilst the environment is the most challenging it has ever been for the remaining combatants, rest assured it’s nothing but great news for the consumer.

Larger grocers will no doubt continue to increase the sale of profitable non-food goods to compensate for further erosion of margins in foods. We have all seen the success of some grocers with their forays into clothing, electrical products and financial services. Some have prospered, but just as many have struggled to embrace the opportunities that online retailing brings and return a profit. This begs the question – how far can they continue to stretch their offering? Tesco’s move into internet telephony (free broadband telephone calls), and their launch of a full scale catalogue offer as well as ASDA’s discount venture "Essentials", shows there is still plenty of opportunity to find new ways to attract and retain today’s fickle consumer. The name of the game is to leverage trust in the brand and intelligently target the customer base. With millions of consumers visiting every week it’s a pretty good idea.

On the supply side of the grocery divide, rising obesity levels and concern over poor health will certainly influence what’s on the shelf as retailers consider their approach to "corporate citizenship". The sale of organic, healthy eating and Fairtrade products is set to become another battleground as retailers compete with one another for this rapidly developing market.

The health debate is also driving innovation within food and beverage manufacturing. The growing emphasis on "products that bring benefits" has already encouraged global manufacturers such as Heinz, Unilever and Nestle to announce a reformulation of their product ranges and introduced a brand new word to the English language in the shape of "nutraceuticals".

Retailers and suppliers who focus solely on remaining competitive through price alone face tough challenges. Consumers have consistently told the market that they hold convenience, value for money (which by no means is the same as "cheap"!) and good product range and availability above price in their shopping list. Differentiation on such issues will be ever more important to driving growth and achieving good margins.

The successful pursuit of consumer spend and loyalty is reliant on understanding the consumer, their needs, requirements and expectations – including their shopping experience.. Collaboration between both retailers and their suppliers will continue to be as important as ever. Efficient environmentally friendly supply chains and good sourcing, as well as the ability to share intelligence with each other to meet fluctuating and changing consumer demands, are vital for survival.
Lawrence Hutter
Global Leader
Consumer Business Industry

’Tis the season to be merry

Or are we a nation of scrooges?

Retailer confidence may be up this year, but our survey shows that consumers don’t share their optimism and consumer confidence in the economy is lower now than over the previous four years. This appears to have dampened the party spirit, with expenditure on food and beverage flat and spend on socialising down 16%.

Despite a distinct chilling of the traditional Christmas cheer we are still feeling very generous with planned gift expenditure up a huge 22%. Total spend is up 8% on last year from £615 per person to £662 per person but the increase follows one of the toughest trading periods for many retailers in recent times when nearly all the major high street retailers were forced to discount well before Christmas. It’s no surprise therefore that we intend to spend more this year.

2006 (£)

2005 (£)

Change

Food and beverage

163

161

1%

Socialising

121

144

(16%)

Gifts

378

310

22%

Total

662

615

8%

It is evident with historically very low food price inflation, in some years even deflation, we have been able to enjoy better quality products or at least the same quantity of food without having to put our hands in our pockets. Food and beverage spend has remained flat throughout the years, increasing only 6% from 1999 to 2006.

On review of gift spend through the years it is apparent that, even with poor gift sales, there is an increasing trend to spend more on our loved ones. Perhaps we are becoming more demanding or maybe retailers are enjoying the fruits of their hard earned marketing labour.

One interesting trend to note is the swing away from socialising spend when we are feeling particular generous over gifts. It is clear then that we have a set amount that we, at least intend to, spend and this is divvied up at Christmas time. So when we exceed what we had planned to spend on our loved ones – we decide to stay in. The reverse is true when we spend a little less than planned on gifts we spend whatever is left in our pockets, enjoying the festivities.

Some significant trends this year include:

  • Total spend by women remains static as spend on gifts is up but down on socialising. Men will be spending 18% more than last year with most of this going on more expensive gifts such as jewellery and MP3 players.
  • There is a direct correlation between lower gift spend and those who have low confidence in the economy – namely those who live in the North, those who are female and those who are in the older age groups.
  • The younger age groups are really shelling out this year. Spend by the 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 age groups has increased by 32% and 16% respectively. Surprisingly this isn’t supported by an increased use of credit cards or loans in these age groups. One major factor that could be fuelling this increase in disposable income is the difficulty for younger people to get onto the housing ladder.With a recent rise in interest rates and the likelihood of another rise before Christmas, it’s not surprising that more young people are opting to stay at home meaning they have more in their pocket to spend on Christmas.

Time to hang up those dancing shoes

The amount predicted to be spent on socialising, including visits to pubs, restaurants and taking Christmas breaks, is down on last year by a considerable 16%. The fall is largely down to a cut in spending by female party-goers, who have slashed their ‘on the town’ expenses by 32% to just £92. Men on the other hand are still planning to spend the same as last year.

A review of the age groups that are still planning on socialising or have chosen to hang up their dancing shoes makes interesting reading. In the past, younger age groups dug into their pockets the most, with spend steadily falling with age. This year, the trend is more pronounced than ever before with those aged 55 to 64 and 65 and over planning on spending even less than in 2005, at 38% and 35% respectively. This suggests that visits to pubs and nightclubs are still firmly on the agenda this Christmas, but festive activities enjoyed by older age groups, particularly females, will be less of a hit this holiday season.

It could be that the recent smoking ban may be having a slight affect on visits to the pub. Even Scotland has seen a fall in predicted spend on socialising this year, down 11% to £149 per person. Despite this, Scotland remains the second biggest spending region for socialising.

Both the North East and Yorkshire have seen a significant fall in predicted spend on socialising, down 46% and 41% to £100 and just £76 respectively. However, in both instances it is clear that there is a switch from spending cash on going out to gift expenditure, as total spend in the three categories remains stable in both of these regions.

Shock in store for some retailers

It is not all doom and gloom for the party season though. When we asked retailers whether they thought that the sector they were in was going to improve, stay the same or deteriorate, beers, wines and spirits retailers were relatively positive, with most stating that the sector would remain the same or improve over the next 12 months. Perhaps these retailers will be in for a shock this Christmas?

Eat, drink and economise

Despite an apparent shortage of organic turkeys this year consumers are not panic buying their Christmas bird. Although food price inflation increased 4.7% year on year, in real terms there will be a slight fall in expenditure this year fuelled by lower spending by females, which is down 7%. Males are however still spending, 11% up on last year.

Yet again, the 16 to 24 year age group will really push the boat out this Christmas with food and beverage spend up 44% – possibly marking one last fling before they tighten up their belts and brave the housing market in the new year. This increase means that they are now equal to the 35 to 44 age group in being the biggest spenders at £184 each. The biggest drop in spend was seen in the 55 to 64 age group. Those over 65, unsurprisingly, will spend the least yet again this year at £118. The North West will be spending the most at £186 and Yorkshire the least at £129.

Hey, big spender

Planned expenditure on gifts is up 22% to £378 per person this Christmas. However, with non-food inflation up this year to 6.4% actual planned expenditure in real terms is up 15.5%, still considerable.

Our survey showed that the gifts consumers are planning on buying are more expensive than those favoured last year. Down in the ranks goes the more affordable stocking fillers such as books and DVDs to be replaced by gift vouchers, clothes, jewellery, tickets, both sporting and musical and MP3 players – all of which are considerably more expensive.

The generous increase in expenditure is seen across all regions, but by far the biggest and most generous spenders are seen in Wales (as was the case last year) and the North East, spending £443 and £440 respectively. There is a striking correlation between the big spending regions and the reason for shopping where they do. Neither region appeared to be concerned with price or store promotions, but both stated opening hours as important to get in those extra shopping hours.

Those in Yorkshire are doing nothing to dispel their stereotype as they are planning on spending just £330, along with the least generous region South West at £311. Despite this, in both regions expenditure is up on prior year at 19% and 2% respectively.

A thing for bling

The youngest age group seems to really have a thing for ‘bling’ with 58% saying that they would like to receive an item of jewellery this year, versus the national average of 49%. Last year jewels and trinkets were by far one of the most popular items for females, especially those aged over 35. However, the jewellery wish list is now evenly split between males and females this year, perhaps ‘bling’ is now becoming mainstream.

What is rising up the Christmas sales charts?

Do we buy what we want to receive?

There has been some movement in the gifts consumers plan to purchase this Christmas but favourite Christmas stocking fillers such as music CDs and fragrances are still high on wish lists. But consumer’s fickle nature is deciding what’s hot and what isn’t this Christmas.

The nation’s top ten gifts for 2006

2006

2005

1

Music – CDs

Music – CDs

2

Clothes

Film – DVD

3

Gift vouchers

Books

4

Books

Clothes

5

Cosmetics and fragrances

Cosmetics and fragrances

6

Film – DVD

Food and beverage

7

Jewellery

Traditional toys

8

Traditional toys

Jewellery

9

Food and beverage

Gift vouchers

10

Computer games

Computer games

Key fact
It appears those buying for females may be missing a trick as 31% of females would like a homemade gift!

In line with their ‘gadgetry’ stereotype, men are more likely than women to purchase DVDs, films, electrical appliances, computer software and MP3 players. This reflects the gifts that they would like to receive.

Conversely, women are more likely than men to purchase clothes, gift vouchers and books, again similar to the more popular items chosen by females as gifts that they would like to receive.

Key fact
3% of consumers in South East are wishing for a car this Christmas… however we have found that no one in the South East is planning on purchasing a car.

The rising stars

Perhaps to avoid the headache of the unwanted gift, there has been a huge rise in the number of people preparing to buy gift vouchers rather than wrapped presents, moving up six places in the ‘top ten’ to number three. Those aged 65 and over are far more likely to purchase gift vouchers, perhaps due to the difficulty in transporting bulky presents and to avoid the "in store" crush and queuing at the tills.

The turkeys

The gifts moving down in popularity include the more affordable DVDs, books, traditional toys and food and beverage, such as chocolates and wine.

Unsurprisingly, 26% of males are yearning for a flat screen TV but they may have to wait another year as only 6% of consumers are planning on buying one as a gift.

What’s more, there are some interesting trends in consumer’s desires this Christmas, including:

  • The desire for MP3 players this Christmas declines with age, but surprisingly 3% of those 65 and over have it on their Christmas wish list.
  • Our London and Northern Ireland regions have demonstrated a high desire for clothes, cosmetics and jewellery, way above national average.
  • If you live in Scotland and you are deciding what to get your loved one, don’t even think about giving them a homemade gift, Scots at 18% were well below the national average of 25% for wanting anything homemade!
  • Those in the South are the fittest, or at least aspire to be, as they would like sporting equipment, far exceeding the national average.

Key fact
Spend on fathers came in at a lowly equal 8th place with just 1% of family members intending to buy their dad the most expensive present equal with those consumers that said that they were going to spend the most on themselves this Christmas.

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The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.