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John Lewis predicts 'homemade' Christmas, festive shopping is earlier than ever

BY Sandra Halliday

PUBLISHED todayOct 28, 2020

ohn Lewis has released a survey to show what Christmas shopping will be like this year and a key finding is that more people are shopping for gifts early. It said 60% of people will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of John Lewis and found only 8% will leave their Christmas shopping until the week before the big day with less than 2% planning to leave it until Christmas Eve. The retailer said that the survey potentially signals the “end of the last-minute Christmas shopper”, although whether this lasts beyond the pandemic period still isn't clear.

As far as gift shopping is concerned, almost a third of the survey respondents said they were planning Christmas earlier than usual this year with 74% of that group specifically shopping for gifts already. The company said that its Christmas shop’s sales are already up 63% on last year and its virtual Christmas shop is one of the most viewed pages on its website. Meanwhile advent calendar sales are up 48%. Of those who said they were planning Christmas early this year, 47% said spreading the cost was a big factor behind this.

Many people said they plan to spend less for 2020’s festive season, although they’ll “be more thoughtful, with homemade gifts set for a resurgence”.

This is perhaps for financial reasons but also possibly due to people wanting to gift something more personal in such difficult times. 

Almost a third of people said they would make their own presents this year and so far, haberdashery sales are up 30% at John Lewis, craft kits are up 85% and making up Christmas stockings is proving popular again with stocking sales up by 45%.

Clearly, the UK seems determined to indulge in the festive spirit and this indulgence still includes a trip to the high street to do Christmas shopping, despite a large number of reports suggesting it will be a largely digital Christmas.

Some 24% of people said they have already visited shops to do Christmas shopping and will do so again in the coming weeks. Some 54% said they hadn't visited the shops yet but still planned to.

The company also said that as well as preparing for Christmas early, homes will be made over early too. Decorations will be up earlier and in more rooms around the home and more people will be putting up outdoor lights “to spread a bit of joy or perhaps in friendly competition with the neighbours”.

Additionally, almost a quarter of people plan to give a gift to neighbours or a member of their local community this year, twice as many people as last year.

And 20% said they plan to send vouchers or gift cards — sales of gift card sales via the webstore are up 80%.

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