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Early indications of a low-spending Christmas

Published: 8 September 2008
Survey finds consumers plan to spend less on decorations and presents, but more on food and drink
Spending on Christmas decorations and presents could be hit this year as shoppers plan to reduce the amount they buy, a survey from Gfk NOP has found.

The Christmas Shopping survey, which tracks consumers' Christmas spending intentions in the months leading to the festive period, currently indicates a fairly even balance in the number of people intending to spend less or more on food and drink than presents and decorations.

Although, GfK says, 'we should ask ourselves whether this means they're actually intending to purchase fewer items, but believe it will cost them the same amount as last Christmas, due to the price increases we are seeing this year.

Helen Roberts, retail director at GfK NOP, said the findings are one to keep an eye on - and may help retailers address the market as it changes.

She said:"A significant number of people are already planning to spend less on things like decorations and presents for friends and colleagues and even on certain family members.

"It's going to be fascinating for retailers to keep watch on how these indicative first findings develop as we get closer to December; will people get more and more cautious, or will the festive spirit give them a sense of 'why not?'."

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