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United Kingdom (UK) 2021 Christmas Market Size, Consumer Attitudes and Buying Dynamics, Key Trends, Category Analysis and Channel Usage

Overall shopper penetration increased as consumers made Christmas more of an occasion this year. Overall Christmas shopper penetration increased to more than 80% in 2021 compared to 2020. After an interrupted 2020, consumers spent more this Christmas as they socialized with friends and family, making it more of an occasion for shoppers to spend slightly more in 2020. Despite more than 20% of consumers feeling slightly or significantly better off this year compared to last year, more than 30% of consumers used some form of loan, in 2020, to finance their Christmas purchases indicating the appetite to splurge out on gifts and festive items.

As the Omicron variant caused COVID-19 cases to increase rapidly in the months preceding Christmas, consumers held off purchasing some gifts and items for the home amid concern of more restrictions during the festive period. Consumers purchase furniture and festive home products to entertain family and friends over the Christmas period. 2021 was the first-time consumers were able to celebrate Christmas with friends and family since 2019 due to the pandemic.

What are the market dynamics of the retail purchases in the UK 2021 Christmas?

Trend Insights – stores: This Christmas, the retailer set up an instore ‘Gift Shop’, with a wide selection of popular gifts such as candles and gift food, and a large variety of Percy Pig merchandise, with products in this particular collection ranging from nightwear to bath soap and bath bombs. Consumers were also able to purchase light-up gin bottles and chocolate boxes. Fixtures within the Christmas sections had red festive signage, while price tickets also matched the color scheme, making Marks & Spencer’s Christmas products easy to identify. Sainsbury’s showcased a wide range of Christmas products, from alcohol gift sets, festive family games, beauty gift boxes, and festive sweets and chocolates, including advent calendars. Its Christmas aisles stood out with green festive signage running along the length of the shelves.

Trend Insights – online: Lidl highlighted its gifting options for Christmas on its homepage, showcasing new products and offers which were launching in the current week, as well as giving previews of future launches and offers coming up. Its designated Christmas section allowed consumers to browse Lidl’s food offered by product type, with starters, mains, desserts, and drinks among other categories, separated out for easy navigation. The grocer made browsing for Christmas food and drink on its site simple, separating the products into different categories which could be browsed with one click. With many consumers opting to have vegetarian meals this Christmas, Waitrose & Partners has made it easier than ever for consumers to filter through to vegetarian products across categories, including Christmas dinner

The UK 2021 Christmas market, by key players

The UK 2021 Christmas market, by key players

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Market report scope

Companies Covered Adidas, Aldi, Amazon, AO, Apple, Argos, ASDA, ASOS, B&M, B&Q, boohoo.com, Boots, Card Factory, Clintons, Co-op, Currys, Debenhams, Decathlon, DFS, Disney Store, Dunelm, Eve Sleep, Facebook, Farmfoods, Footasylum, Game, Goldsmiths, H. Samuel, HMV, Home Bargains, Homebase, Iceland, IKEA, Instagram, JD Sports, JD Williams, John Lewis & Partners, Lidl, Littlewoods, Lush, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Morrisons, New Look, Next, Nike, Oak Furnitureland, Pandora, Paperchase, Pinterest, Poundland, PrettyLittleThing, Primark, Robert Dyas, Sainsbury’s, Screwfix, Selfridges, Smyths Toys, Snapchat, Sports Direct, Superdrug, Tesco, The Body Shop, The Entertainer, The Jewel Hut, The Range, The Works, Tiffany & Co, TikTok, TK Maxx, Toolstation, Twitter, Very, Waitrose & Partners, Warren James, Waterstones, Wayfair, WH Smith, Wilko, Wordery, World of Books, and YouTube

The UK 2021 Christmas Market Size, Consumer Attitudes, and Buying Dynamics, Key Trends, Category Analysis, and Channel Usage report forms part of GlobalData’s Retail Occasions series and offers a comprehensive insight into the consumer dynamics and spending habits of consumers for Christmas. The report analyses the market, the major players, the main trends, and consumer attitudes.

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand how consumers’ attitudes and shopping behaviors have changed as a result of the pandemic, and whether we are seeing a return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
  • Understand what drives consumers to use a retailer for their purchases, such as convenience, value for money, and delivery options in order to maximize sales potential.
  • Use our in-depth analysis of the leading retailers for Christmas to understand how to appeal to shoppers and increase market share.

Key Players

Adidas

Aldi

Amazon

AO

Apple

Argos

ASDA

ASOS

B&M

B&Q

boohoo.com

Boots

Card Factory

Clintons

Co-op

Currys

Debenhams

Decathlon

DFS

Disney Store

Dunelm

Eve Sleep

Facebook

Farmfoods

Footasylum

Game

Goldsmiths

H. Samuel

HMV

Home Bargains

Homebase

Iceland

IKEA

Instagram

JD Sports

JD Williams

John Lewis & Partners

Lidl

Littlewoods

Lush

Marks & Spencer

Matalan

Morrisons

New Look

Next

Nike

Oak Furnitureland

Pandora

Paperchase

Pinterest

Poundland

PrettyLittleThing

Primark

Robert Dyas

Sainsbury’s

Screwfix

Selfridges

Smyths Toys

Snapchat

Sports Direct

Superdrug

Tesco

The Body Shop

The Entertainer

The Jewel Hut

The Range

The Works

Tiffany & Co

TikTok

TK Maxx

Toolstation

Twitter

Very

Waitrose & Partners

Warren James

Waterstones

Wayfair

WH Smith

Wilko

Wordery

World of Books

YouTube

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

THE KEY FINDINGS

The Key Findings

Overall shopper penetration increases as consumers made Christmas more of an occasion this year

Consumers purchase furniture and festive home products to entertain family and friends over the Christmas period

Shoppers spend more on seasonal food & drink this year and trade up for better quality products

A muted return to the high street allows Amazon to remain dominant

Trend insight – stores

Trend insight – online

CONSUMER ATTITUDES

Key findings

Buying dynamics

Financial wellbeing

Christmas spending

Financial spending

Christmas statements

Retailer selection

Retailer ratings – grocers

Retailer ratings – non-food retailers

Christmas stockings

Secret Santa

Christmas returns

COVID-19 impact

Buying dynamics

Seasonal food and drink

Buying dynamics (Food & drink overall)

Retailer used

Retailer selection

Buying dynamics (Consumers switching main retailer)

Retailer used (Consumers switched to)

Retailer selection (Reasons for retailer switching)

Channel usage

Store type

Device usage

Fulfilment

Spending

Buying dynamics (Categories)

Planned/impulse

Gifts

Buying dynamics (Gifts overall)

Retailer used

Retailer selection

Channel usage

Store type

Device usage

Fulfilment

Average spend

Spending

Recipient

Buying dynamics (categories)

Planned/impulse

Personalisation

Secondhand gifts

Gifts purchased seen/promoted on social media

Regifting

Festive items

Buying dynamics (Festive items overall)

Retailer used

Retailer selection

Channel usage

Store type

Device usage

Fulfilment

Average spend

Buying dynamics (Categories)

Christmas gift bags

Colour schemes chosen

Christmas tree purchasing dynamics

Christmas lights purchasing dynamics

Buying dynamics (Christmas cracker questions)

Buying dynamics (Christmas glitter use)

Christmas advent calendar

Planned/impulse

Personalisation

Items for the home

Buying dynamics (Items for the home overall)

Retailer used

Retailer selection

Channel usage

Store type

Device usage

Fulfilment

Spending

Planned/impulse

Methodology

Technical details: consumer survey work

List of Tables

List of Tables

Retailer ratings across key measures – grocers, 2021

Retailer ratings across key measures – non-food retailers, 2021

Christmas gift categories consumers plan to return, 2021

Percentage point change retailer shopped at for seasonal food & drink (2020-2021)

Percentage point change retailer most shopped at for seasonal food & drink (2020-2021)

Percentage point change retailer consumers switched to for seasonal food & drink (2020-2021)

Products purchased – Christmas sweet products, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – Christmas savoury products, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – meat, fish and free from alternatives, 2020 and 2021

Products purchased – fruit & vegetables, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – alcoholic beverages, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – non-alcoholic beverages, 2021

Percentage point change retailer shopped at for gifts (2020-2021)

Products purchased – clothing & accessories, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – clothing & accessories, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – health & beauty, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – health & beauty, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased -food gifts, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – food gifts, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – alcohol gifts, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – alcohol gifts, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – books, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – books, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – toys & games, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – toys & games, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – footwear, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – footwear, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – music & video, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – music & video, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – homewares, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – homewares, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – money, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – electricals, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – electricals, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – stationery, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – stationery, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – vouchers & gift cards, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – leather goods, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – leather goods, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – fine jewellery and watches, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – fine jewellery and watches, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – computers, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – computers, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – garden items, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – garden items, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – experience, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – sports, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – sports, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – DIY, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – DIY, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – secondhand gifts, 2021

Social media platforms used, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – regifting, 2021

Percentage point change retailer shopped at for festive items (2020-2021)

Products purchased – Christmas wrapping & cards, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – Christmas wrapping & cards, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – Christmas trees & decorations, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – Christmas trees & decorations, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – festive home products, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – festive home products, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – Christmas crackers, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – Christmas advent calendar, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – party clothing & accessories, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – party clothing & accessories, 2020 & 2021

Percentage point change retailer shopped at for items for the home (2020-2021)

Products purchased – homewares, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – homewares, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – electricals, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – electricals, 2020 & 2021

Products purchased – furniture, 2020 & 2021

Retailers used – furniture, 2020 & 2021

List of Figures

List of Figures

Christmas 2021 shopper penetration (by demographic and by region) & 2020 penetration

Christmas shopper profile (by demographic & by region), 2021

Financial wellbeing compared to last year, 2020 & 2021

How consumers Christmas spending compared to last year, 2020 & 2021

How consumers financed Christmas spending, 2020 & 2021

Agreement statements about Christmas, 2021

Success of retailers at promoting or communicating Christmas deals, 2021

Christmas stockings received penetration 2021 (by demographic and by region) & 2020 penetration

Christmas stockings given penetration 2021 (by demographic and by region) & 2020 penetration

Christmas stockings average spend, 2020 & 2021

Christmas stockings bought, 2020 & 2021

Secret Santa penetration 2021 (by demographic and by region) & 2020 penetration

Secret Santa budget, 2020 & 2021

Secret Santa bought for, 2020 & 2021

Secret Santa budget spending patterns, 2021

Christmas returns penetration 2021 (by demographic and by region) & 2020 penetration

Number of Christmas returns 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 overall

Reasons for returning Christmas presents, 2021

COVID-19 impact on Christmas celebrations, 2021

How COVID-19 impacted Christmas celebrations, 2021

Spending on Christmas items change due to COVID-19, 2021

Reasons consumers spent more on Christmas due to COVID-19,2021

Reasons consumers less more on Christmas due to COVID-19,2021

When consumers started their Christmas shopping, 2021

Did consumers start their Christmas shopping earlier this year (by answer & demographic age). 2021

Reasons why consumers started Christmas shopping earlier, 2021

Overall food and drink penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Retailers shopped at for seasonal food and drink, 2020 & 2021

Retailers shopped at for seasonal food and drink, 2020 & 2021

Drivers of food & drink retailer selection, 2021

Consumers switching from their usual main retailer, 2021 by demographic & 2020 overall

Top 10 retailers consumers switched to, 2020 & 2021

Reasons for switching main retailer, 2021 and ppt change on 2020

Consumers using each channel for purchasing seasonal food and drink, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each store type for purchasing seasonal food and drink, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each device for seasonal food and drink purchases, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Fulfilment options for seasonal food and drink purchases made online, 2020 & 2021

Top 10 retailers most shopped at for seasonal food and non-alcoholic beverages, 2021 and ppt change on 2020

Top 10 retailers most shopped at for alcoholic beverages, 2021 and ppt change on 2020

Christmas sweet products 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Christmas savoury products 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Meat, fish and free from alternatives 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Fruit & vegetables 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Alcoholic beverages 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Non-alcoholic beverages 2021 (by demographic)

Overall seasonal food & drink planned/impulse purchases, and by category, 2020 & 2021

Overall gift penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Retailers shopped at for gifts, 2020 & 2021

Drivers of gifts retailer selection, 2021 & ppt change on 2020

Consumers using each channel for purchasing Christmas gifts, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using store type for purchasing Christmas gifts, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each device for Christmas gift shopping purchases, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Fulfilment options for Christmas gift purchases made online, 2020 & 2021

How consumers gave presents, 2021

Average spend on Christmas gifts by product category, 2021 and £ change on 2020

How spending on gifts changed as a result of COVID-19,2021

Reasons why consumers spent more on Christmas gifts due to COVID-19,2021

Reasons why consumers spent less on Christmas gifts due to COVID-19,2021

Who consumers bought Christmas gifts for, 2021 and ppt change on 2020

Clothing & accessories penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Health & beauty penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Food gifts penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Alcohol gifts penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Books penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Toys & games penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Views regarding gifting plastic toys, 2021

Footwear penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Music & video 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Homewares penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Money penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Electricals penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Stationery penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Voucher & gift cards penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Leather goods penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Fine jewellery & watches penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Computers penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Garden items penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Experience penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Sports penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

DIY penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Overall gift planned/impulse purchases, and by sector 2020 & 2021

Overall gift personalisation, and by sector, 2020 & 2021

Secondhand gifts penetration 2021 (by demographic)

Channel usage for secondhand gift purchasing, 2021

Reasons for purchasing/not purchasing secondhand gifts, 2021

Gifts purchased seen/promoted on social media penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Regifting penetrations 2021 (by demographic)

Reasons for regifting, 2021

Who consumers regifted to, 2021

Overall festive items penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Retailers shopped at for festive items, 2020 & 2021

Drivers of retailer selection for festive items, 2021

Consumers using each channel for festive item purchases, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each store type for festive item purchases, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each device for festive item purchases, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Fulfilment options for festive item purchases made online, 2020 & 2021

Average spend on festive items, 2021 and £ change on 2020

Christmas wrapping & cards penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Types of gift bags purchased, 2021

Colour scheme chosen for festive gift wrap, 2021

Christmas trees and decorations penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Christmas tree purchasing dynamics, by real & artificial trees, 2021

Christmas lights purchasing dynamics, by internal & external lights, 2021

Festive home products penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Colour scheme chosen for festive home products, 2021

Christmas crackers penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Consumers filling in Christmas crackers themselves, 2021

Consumers opinion on whether retailers should stop including plastic toys in crackers, 2021

Whether consumers buy Christmas items decorated with glitter, 2021

Consumers glitter shopping habits this year versus last year, 2021

Whether consumers stopped buying Christmas items decorated with glitter, 2021

Consumers switching to a retailer based on it stopping glitter use, 2021

Consumers switching to a retailer based on it having glitter on products, 2021

Christmas advent calendar penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Christmas advent calendar bought for, 2020 & 2021

Types of products included in Christmas advent calendars, 2020 & 2021

Party clothing & accessories penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Overall festive items planned/impulse purchases, and by product category, 2020 & 2021

Overall gift personalisation, and by product category, 2020 & 2021

Overall items for the home penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Retailers shopped at for items for the home, 2020 & 2021 and ppt change from 2020

Drivers of items for the home retailer selection, 2021 and ppt change from 2020

Consumers using each channel for items for the home, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each store type for items for the home, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each device for items for the home, 2021 (browsed and purchased)

Consumers using each fulfilment option for items for the home, 2020 & 2021

Average spend on items for the home by category, 2021 and £ change from 2020

Homewares penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Electricals penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Furniture penetration 2021 (by demographic) & 2020 penetration

Overall items for the home planned/impulse purchases, and by sector, 2020 & 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Overall Christmas shopper penetration increased to more than 80% in 2021 compared to 2020.

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