It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas: With 100 days to go, 8.2 million Brits have already started festive shopping

Countdown begins

With this Saturday, 16th September, marking 100 days until Christmas, new research from American Express® reveals that 8.2 million or 16 per cent of Brits have already hit the shops to buy presents and those that have started shopping have spent on average £507 so far.

To date, Britons have spent the most on ‘main’ presents for family and friends (£125), whilst trips abroad during the Christmas period account for £80 of the spend and stocking fillers (£58). 

Christmas activities / presentsSpend to date
Main presents£125
Planning trips abroad during the Christmas period£80
Stocking filler presents£58
Trips in the UK during the Christmas period£51
Food£47
Wrapping paper / cards£41
Tickets for experiences – e.g. pantomime, visiting Father Christmas£38
Drinks£34
Decorations£33
TOTAL£507

According to the research, Liverpudlians are the most prepared for the festive season, with over a quarter (28 per cent) of residents having started their Christmas spree, followed by people in Brighton (26 per cent) and Glaswegians (22 per cent). Meanwhile, only 13 per cent of Londoners have started filling their stockings.

More than half (57 per cent) of those already shopping have picked up presents in the sales. Nearly half (46%) stated they hit the shops early to spread their festive spending across the year. 

Looking ahead, three in ten Brits (29 per cent) say they will start hunting for gifts in November. 16 per cent say they will start shopping earlier, in October, whilst 16 per cent will wait until December.

Top tips from American Express to make your Christmas spending go further:

1. Make a list and check it twice  Ask your family and friends to let you know what they would like, well ahead of Christmas, and then keep an eye out for the best deals and sales.

2. Make the most of early sales  Many shops have mid-season and pre-Christmas sales, so look out for email updates so you can be first in the queue for buying early and cost-effective Christmas presents.

3. Points mean presents – Check how many rewards points you have accrued on your credit, charge or store cards. You may have enough to get some Christmas gifts heavily discounted or for free simply by redeeming your points.

4. Split the gift – Buying the perfect present can be a difficult and expensive process on your own, so why not consider splitting the price of a gift between friends or family? Start having conversations now, so you can ensure you get your loved ones the item they really want.

5. Earn rewards and cashback on your spending – Make your money work harder by using a card that earns cashback or rewards which can be put towards some well-earned treats once Christmas is over.

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