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50 Days to Christmas... but half of Brits yet to hit the shops

2nd November 2016 Print

With 50 days to go, the countdown to Christmas is now definitely on. However, research from American Express shows that many Brits are yet to catch the Christmas spirit with over half (54%) still to start their seasonal shopping and of these, 22% are planning to delay it until December.

Birmingham residents are the most laidback when it comes to last minute shopping with almost a third (31%) planning on leaving their festive shopping until the last few weeks. By comparison Cardiff is home to the UK’s most prepared purchasers with over nine in 10 (93%) kick-starting their Christmas shopping before December.                                                                            

The UK’s most last minute cities for festive spending:

City - Percentage starting their shopping in December

Birmingham 31%

Southampton 27%

Leeds 27%

Nottingham 26%

Manchester 25%

If the thought of over a fifth (22%) of all Brits descending on high streets and shopping centres this December fills you with festive fear rather than Christmas cheer, worry not as over half (53%) will opt for online shopping from the comfort of their own homes. And with 16% of Brits relying on next day delivery, some of this will be done with just days to spare.

Jenny Cheung, Director at American Express, said: “With wallets and purses poised for festive purchases, it’s important to remember to make this festive season as rewarding as possible. When buying presents, remember to use your store loyalty cards and a credit card that offers cashback or rewards. You can then treat yourself to a New Year present with your hard-earned points or cashback.”

Top Tips for Panic Free Purchasing This Christmas:

Don’t work yourself up into a festive frenzy - American Express has put together some advice to help you shop stress-free this Christmas and be a savvy Santa…

Festive yet focused  – Getting the bulk of your Christmas shopping done in a single or couple of trips is not only an efficient use of time but money too. The hidden costs of shopping such as coffee, lunch, transport and parking can soon add up, so keep your Christmas budget on track by making a list that includes the shops you need to visit and the presents you want to buy there. This should hopefully cut down on the amount of trips you need to make.

Budget –Take a finance-first approach to your Christmas shopping. Agreeing a present budget with family members will help avoid any awkwardness on Christmas Day after you’ve gifted diamonds while they’ve settled for a DVD.

Points make presents – If you regularly use a credit or charge card that offers you points and rewards, check how many points you’ve accrued and where you can spend them. You may have enough to get some gifts with your points, which means you can give a present or fill a stocking without spending a penny.

Find a friend – Bring along a friend as your own little helper to lighten the load of heavy bags and keep festive spirits alive when the queues take their toll. Treat your friend to a leisurely lunch as a reward for all their help and you can be rewarded too, as American Express Cardmembers can currently earn £10 cashback when they spend £50 at ASK Italian.*

Shop small and meaningful –Shopping locally is a great way to help buy a more personal and unique present. Head to your local high street to find something quirky and different, which is unlikely to be sold elsewhere.

Let Christmas come early – For the person who has everything and is impossible to buy for, treat them to an experience. The festive memories of a day ice skating or an amazing meal at their favourite restaurant will last a lifetime and are almost guaranteed to be appreciated.