A new study from McCarthy & Stone looking at the nation’s Christmas spending habits and behaviour, has revealed that Welsh households will be the most generous this year when spending money on everything from gifts to food and decorations.
In a UK-wide survey from the retirement housebuilder – which asked respondents how much they intend to spend on Christmas this year – the data has shown that Wales will be the most benevolent of all the home nations with an average spend of £460 – over £40 more than the UK average of £419.19. Additionally, this is more than Scotland (£457.27), Northern Ireland (£400) and England’s biggest spenders in the North of the country (£445.59).
However, despite Wales’ generous attitude to the festive period, UK-wide consumer spending is expected to drop this year due to the pandemic. McCarthy & Stone’s study also found that this year’s national average spend is almost £150 less than 2018 and 2019 where the average spends were £560 and £567 respectively. Which still makes Wales’ total up to £100 less on the last few years.
Unsurprisingly, the main reason given for the reduced expense this year is the COVID-19 pandemic – with nearly half (47.7%) of respondents all over the country citing the financial issues caused by the Coronavirus as a key factor. Wider research for the study showed that uncertainty in the job markets, being on the furlough scheme and prioritising savings in these uncertain times are some of the specific pandemic-related reasons we have for our reduced Christmas expenditure.
As well as this, the study has shown that the shopping habits of the people of Wales have also been affected by the pandemic. Almost 84% of Welsh respondents stated they will primarily do their Christmas shopping online this year, with over a quarter claiming this is due to safety concerns with the Coronavirus.
The full results and findings of the study can be found here:
A spokesperson for McCarthy & Stone offered their thoughts on the situation and the results of the study:
“While it’s a real positive to see that the people of Wales will be pushing the boat out and rewarding themselves with some well-deserved Christmas treats this year, with everything that’s gone on in 2020, it’s still not surprising that our overall Christmas spending is set to drop – nor is it necessarily unexpected, particularly when more of us are focussed on saving for 2021.
“However, while this may mean our Christmases might not be as decadent as last year, it offers opportunities for us to find festive joy in other ways. For instance, many of our survey respondents said that they want to spend more time with their family and friends, or get involved in more charity or voluntary work to help others, rather than spending money.
“While this is also subject to the limitations of the recently released restrictions that will be in place, it’s also the approach we’ll be taking in our developments. As although we won’t be able to hold all our usual events and parties, we’ll still find ways to celebrate and bring Christmas spirit to all our retirement communities. With initiatives like our volunteering programme and supermarket partnerships, we’ll aim to ensure everyone has access to good food and a cheery chat.”