A turkey economy and Justin Bieber

23rd December, 2011




Nearly done with the preparations for Christmas and a little spare time left (or need a break from shops, lists, wrapping paper and sticky tape?) Then here’s a little festive reality check for you.

According to a survey by Sainsbury’s, the average Brit spends 829 hours (34.5 days!) shopping for Christmas in their lifetime! And it takes 6.3 hours of preparation to transform products from supermarket shelf into the festive menu. However, the average family takes just 75 minutes to enjoy the meal (though I swear I have eaten with far more efficient families!)

And what would Christmas be without spending? ICM Research on behalf of Retail Week surveyed 2030 people in September 2011 about their spending and shopping habits for Christmas. 42% said they would spend the same as last year, 39% vowed to spend less and 10% were anticipating higher spending. It seems that younger people are more likely to spend more. But those youngsters might also be responsible for the fact that 31% said they would do more online shopping this year compared to last, and 42% thought it would be the same amount.

Irrespective of where it’s spent, there is no denying that even in this continuingly difficult economy, huge amounts of money are spent at Christmas.  Found on the web site moneyexpert.com, parents in the UK will spent £2 billion on gifts this Christmas, with an average of £178 on presents and stocking fillers per child.  And it’s serious business: the article carries on to say that a 13-year-old school girl from Bedford threatened to kill Santa Claus in her Christmas wish list, if he didn’t bring the right presents. Her mum has confessed that she will buy her daughter what she wants, with the exception of the demand for a ‘real-life Justin Bieber’. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

More survey analysis next year. Merry Christmas everyone!