70% of cash-strapped Brits to make Christmas trimmings

December 01, 2010

Nearly three quarters of people (70%) will be making cutbacks on spending this Christmas, new research* by The Co-operative Bank has revealed.

According to the findings, although one in four Brits (25%) are yet to start their Christmas shopping**, friends and family won’t be the beneficiaries this year, as nearly a quarter of people (23%) are officially tightening their purse strings when it comes to gifts.

However, the research highlights that festive celebrations will suffer the most, with one in three (29%) people admitting that parties and nights out will be the top area they look to cut back on.

The figures also show that spending on Christmas outfits (25%) and expensive wrapping paper (24%) will also be popular areas for spending reductions from a quarter of the population.


Top 10 Christmas cut-backs

Christmas cut back % of respondents
1 Parties/ nights out 29
2 Christmas presents for friends 28
3 Christmas outfit 24
4 Expensive wrapping paper 23
5 Christmas presents for work colleagues 21
6 Taxis 20
7 Christmas presents for family 18
8 A holiday 18
9 Premium brands 17
10 Alcohol 16


And it even looks as if the postman will be left out in the cold this year, as more than one in ten (11%) admitting they won’t be giving Christmas tips.

However, it does appears that food is still where the heart is, with more than 90% of people unwilling to trim any spending on their festive favourites, including mince pies (94%), turkey (93%) and Christmas pudding (92%).

The research also shows that as a nation we are becoming more prudent, with 60% of people stating that they are not prepared to run into any debt to ensure they have a merry Christmas.

John Hughes, Director of Retail Products at The Co-operative Bank, said: “It’s no surprise that consumers are tightening their purse strings this Christmas, but the scale of the cut backs is perhaps surprising.

“There is pressure to spend money over the festive season - sometimes more than people can afford - so it’s good to see people are looking at their finances more carefully and taking a more responsible attitude to spending.”


* True spirit of Christmas research carried out in November 2010 by onepoll.com on behalf of The Co-operative Bank amongst a geographically representative sample of 3,000 adult respondents.

** 69% of people sampled completed their shopping before 1 December 2010

To support savers this Christmas, The Co-operative is offering a Christmas promotional package of giveaways and savings worth £200m in its food stores.

This includes:

Fox’s Fabulously Special Selection Biscuit Tin 720g
(From 1 December - 4 January inclusive)
£4.50 £10.00
The Co-operative Scottish Smoked Salmon 180g £3.00 £6.00
(From 1 December - 4 January inclusive)
The Co-operative Large King Prawns 145g
£2.50 £5.00
(From 1 December - 4 January inclusive)
The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Brandy Butter
Ice Cream 500ml
£1.50 £3.00
(From now - 4 January inclusive)
The Co-operative 12 Family Crackers
(Gold Stripe/Silver/Pine Cones)
£3.50 £7.00
(From now - 4 January inclusive)
The Co-operative Truly Irresistible 6 Luxury Crackers
(Silver Berries/Red & Gold Flock)
£7.50 £15.00
Charles de Cazanove NV Champagne
(From now – 4 January inclusive)
£14.99 £29.99