COVID19: Christmas spending to plunge €30 bln in UK, Germany, France

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Europeans are expected to significantly cut their spending in the Christmas season this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit their incomes, closed shops, and restricted social gatherings, according to a recent survey.

Data compiled by Finaria.it indicates the lockdown measures will trigger an almost €30 bln plunge in Christmas spending in the United Kingdom, Germany and France – the top three markets in Europe.

Statistics show the United Kingdom tops the list of Christmas spending in Europe. Between 2016 and 2018, Britons spend around €85 bln each year, according to Statista and VoucherCodes data. In 2019, this figure jumped to €91.5 bln.

However, the new COVID-19 lockdown measures triggered a sharp drop with retail sales in the Christmas season falling to €80.9 bln, €12.1 bln less than was initially forecast.

Statistics also show the value of the UK’s store-based retail sales made during the Christmas season is expected to plunge in 2020, while online sales are forecast to hit new records.


Less and brick-and-mortar stores, more online

According to research, this holiday season, covering the six weeks from mid-November to the end of December, Britons are expected to spend around €42 bln in brick-and-mortar stores, a 37% drop in a year. At the same time, online sales are forecast to hit €38.7 bln, 58% more than a year ago.

Britons are expected to spend the most on consumer electronics gifts this year, around €57.50, compared to €52 in 2019. However, statistics show that per capita spending on clothing and footwear saw the most significant drop, falling from €59.30 in 2019 to €31.50 in 2020.

As the second-largest market on this list, Germany is expected to witness a €4.6 bln plunge in Christmas spending due to the coronavirus lockdown. Statistics show Germans are forecast to spend around €76 bln in the 2020 Christmas season, down from the pre-lockdown estimations of €80.6 bln.

The Deloitte Christmas Survey 2020 also showed they plan to spend around €168 on Christmas gifts this year, down from €217 in 2019, while their budget for food in Christmas time amounts to €117, a slight increase compared to last year.

However, statistics show France is expected to witness the most significant drop in Christmas spending among the top three European countries this year. Before the new lockdown measures, the French were forecast to spend around €70.8 bln on Christmas shopping. This figure plunged by €13.2 bln after the lockdown measures were re-introduced.


Italy and Spain spending to plunge €9 bln

The Statista and VoucherCodes data showed the Italians are expected to spend €36.5 bln on Christmas shopping this year, €6 bln less compared to pre-lockdown estimations. The Confcommercio-Imprese per l’Italia survey also revealed that 84.5% of respondents would spend a modest Christmas time this year, almost 16% more than a year ago.

Italian consumers are going to tone down their Christmas shopping habits. According to a survey, only 74% of respondents will buy Christmas gifts, down from 87% in 2019, with almost nine people out of 10 expecting a very gloomy Christmas.

As the fifth European market on this list, Spain is expected to witness a €3 bln drop in Christmas spending this year. Netherlands and Belgium follow with €2.7 bln and €2.2 bln drop, respectively.