A quarter of Brits are yet to finish Christmas shopping

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2 min read
A woman with a pram on an almost empty Deansgate in Manchester city centre, as a new variant of COVID-19 keeps Christmas shoppers at home, on Monday 21st December 2020. (Credit: Pat Scaasi | MI News) (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A woman with a pram on an almost empty Deansgate in Manchester city centre, as a new variant of COVID-19 keeps Christmas shoppers at home, on Monday 21st December 2020. Photo: MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With three days until Christmas around a quarter of Brits are yet to finish their festive shopping.

Overall, six in ten (62%) have managed to get everything they need – up from 50% on Thursday last week, according to YouGov’s Christmas shopping tracker.

But with the sudden shutting of non-essential retail over the weekend due to tightening coronavirus restrictions, many people in the UK who had been relying on picking up their presents in-store may have left things too late.

This includes 3% of last minute chancers who haven’t bought a single one of their presents yet. The bulk of those who haven’t yet bought their gifts have, at least, bought “most of them” (16%).

Men are slightly more likely than women to have not yet bought everything (28% vs 22%), while those aged 65 and above are less likely to still have shopping to do (19%).

Britons are getting their gifts in faster this year. YouGov has been tracking the progress of the UK’s yuletide gift-gathering over the course of December. At the beginning of the month, one in six Britons (16%) had already done all their purchasing, while a similar number (17%) had yet to start.

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The results indicate that Britons are completing their Christmas shopping much more quickly this year than last year. In 2019, only 13% of Britons had managed to buy everything by 6 December; in 2020 that figure was almost double, at 24% by 7 December.

Similarly, the 38% who said they had completed their purchasing by 18 December 2019 is substantially behind the 50% who say they had done so by 17 December 2020.

This is undoubtedly down to the shift toward online shopping brought about by the coronavirus restrictions. YouGov research has shown that the proportion of English shoppers intending to buy all or most of their presents online rose to 60%, compared to 48% saying they had done so the year before.

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