Consumers choosy about Christmas gifts

With just weeks left to shop for Christmas gifts, about two thirds of Irish adults are worried about the rising cost of living, with females and those aged 35-54 expressing the highest levels of concern, the latest Pulse report by Dentsu indicates.  The levels of concern are impacting on people’s intentions to focus buying new clothes, going out and beauty and wellness. A significant number of consumers intend to spend less across most categories this year.

Dentsu research director Claire O’Rourke said the study shows that gifting intentions are focused on clothing and footwear, with over one-half planning to purchase items from this category, perhaps reflecting a focus on more practical gifts this year. Consumers intend to use both on and offline channels to make their purchases. Significantly, more adults plan on buying Irish goods, both for gifts and when shopping for festive food and drink.

Financial concerns

This Christmas, over half of adults are planning on spending less on clothes (57 per cent), going out (54 per cent) and beauty and wellness (50 per cent) showing that the rising cost of living has continued to impact on spending. A high proportion of people are also likely to buy fewer gifts (46 per cent) and spend less on gifts (43 per cent). Compared to last year’s Pulse survey, people are more likely to spend less across all categories, apart from home heating.

How we’re paying for Christmas

Clothing and footwear and cosmetics/beauty/perfume are the most popular shopping categories among Irish adults this Christmas, as they were in 2022.  One in five intend to buy sports clothing and equipment with a similar proportion intending to buy new technology.  Across most categories, females are more likely to shop for gifts than males, with the main exception being new technology (males 22 per cent versus females 18 per cent).

The majority of Irish adults are paying for Christmas gifts using either debit cards or cash. However, one in five (22 per cent) will use credit cards to pay for gifts, three per cent will use a personal loan and seven per cent are using buy-now pay later. Those aged 18-24 (12 per cent) or aged 25-34 (14 per cent) are more likely to be using buy-now, pay later schemes.

Where people are shopping 

Overall Irish people plan to buy most of their gifts either online or a mixture of online and in store. Gifts of alcohol and sweets most likely to be bought in store (83 per cent and 74 per cent respectively) while those buying experiences, electrical good and new tech, were most likely to be bought online. Irish adults are much more likely to buy Irish when it comes to both food and non-alcoholic drinks (54 per cent vs 34 per cent) and Christmas gifts (52 per cent vs 32 per cent).


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