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Insight of the Week: The Countdown to Christmas is Well Underway

Although there’s only 66 sleeps days to Christmas Day and it may seem so far away, there’s a reason a lot of stores already have their Christmas merchandise out. They know that once summer draws to a close there is a huge increase in the proportion of adults who start planning their Christmas present purchasing.

Figures from Kantar Media’s TGI study of consumer characteristics and behaviour show that in the Republic of Ireland just 5% of adults start planning their Christmas planning purchasing in July or August. But the equivalent figure for September/October is 34%.

But who are these consumers who start their Christmas shopping in September or October and what makes them different to the 47% of adults who start their Christmas shopping in November or December?

Well for a start they are far more likely to be buying for a large number of people, which explains why they are planning early. The September/October Christmas shopper is 47% more likely than the average adult to be buying gifts for over 15 people, whilst the November/December shopper is 33% less likely than the average to do so.

Conversely, the November/December shopper is 77% more likely to be only buying for one or two people, whereas the September/October shopper is 66% less likely than the average to be buying for such a small number of people.

But it isn’t just the numbers of people they are buying for that separates the September and October Christmas shopper form their November/December counterpart – they are also far more likely to spend more. 38% of September/October shoppers spend €525 or more on Christmas gifts, compared to just 20% for the November/December shoppers.

Thus, whilst it may irk some of us to see Christmas merchandise and promotions in the shops as soon as summer is over, the reality is a large proportion of us are happily engaging with Christmas present purchasing right now and retailers are only too happy to oblige.

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