Britain the biggest Christmas spending nation in Europe

£77.56 billion will be spent during the Christmas shopping season in the UK this year, making Brits the biggest spenders in Europe.

Brexit doesn’t appear to have dampened Brits’ Christmas spending spirit this year, with research commissioned by RetailMeNot, the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers and operator of VoucherCodes.co.uk, forecasting £77.56 billion to be spent during the Christmas shopping season in 2016 – an overall increase of 1.9 per cent from last year.

Shopping on mobile devices will be one of the key drivers for this growth and will increase by 51.2 per cent compared to last year. The international study, which combines interviews with over 450 major retailers across nine countries and 3,000 shoppers, was conducted by the Centre for Retail Research.

It reveals that sales on smartphones and tablets will make up for 42.3 per cent of the online Christmas spending this year and bring £8.87 billion to British retailers, making the UK the frontrunner of mobile Christmas spending in Europe.

UK leads Europe with the highest average household spend this Christmas yet again

With the Pound in constant turmoil since the June 26th Brexit reveal, it appears that despite the Brexit hype there will be a positive impact on spending during the Christmas trading period, and it’s not only the result of a surge in foreign shoppers spending in the UK but British households spending more this year too.

RetailMeNot’s research finds the average household will spend £809.97 this Christmas, covering the likes of gifts, food & drink, holiday travel and decorations, with the majority (58.5 per cent) of the budget going to gifts. In fact, Britons will be spending 50 per cent more on Christmas than their European counterparts, where the average spend is £540.42.

Brits spending the most online and on mobile this Christmas

Online shopping continues to steadily increase when it comes to where Britons are spending, while in-store sales are expected to see a decline by 1.6 per cent. The research finds £20.97 billion will go to ecommerce this year, meaning that more than every fourth pound (27 per cent) of Christmas sales will be spent online this festive season – that’s a 12.9 per cent increase from 2015 online spend of £18.57 million.

This growth will be largely driven by mobile, where spend is expected to grow by 51.2 per cent to reach £8.87 billion. Online sales from tablets are increasing the fastest at 59 per cent since last year, while sales on desktop computer will decline by 5 per cent.

The study also reveals that Britons will spend 49 per cent more on mobile devices than the Germans (£5.96 billion), and 58 per cent more than French shoppers (£3.71 billion), making them the biggest mobile Christmas shoppers in Europe.

Severine Philardeau, vice president of retail and brand solutions at VoucherCodes, part of RetailMeNot thinks that, Brexit or no Brexit, Christmas will always be a peak holiday for spending and this year is no different.

Philardeau, adds, ‘We’re continuing to see Brits not only spend more in general compared to their European counterparts, but spend more on mobile with a 51 per cent increase since last year.

‘Once again this highlights the increasing complexity of the shopping journey, and the retailers who will win this Christmas will be those embracing digital and mobile as well as moving towards a seamless shopping experience across all channels.’

Further reading on Christmas spending

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