Is it too Early for Christmas Shopping? - Dispatch Weekly

November 9, 2018 - Reading time: 5 minutes

Halloween is done and November has begun, however, the UK public have already got Christmas on their mind. It’s unusual to see Christmas lighting up in town centres and Christmas style coffee cups in Costa but that’s the reality of Christmas now. Christmas has now become so commercialised that it no longer begins on the 1st December along with the advent calendars, but actually begins as Halloween ends.

The British public are the guiltiest in Europe for early Christmas shopping with ‘18% of Britons having bought most of their gifts by the end of October’. Having completed your Christmas shopping by the end of October can be thought of as incredibly well organised or simply ridiculous. I’m sure the other 82% will think of these early shoppers as one of the two.

As insane as it sounds to be shopping for Christmas this early on, it actually makes sense. Shoppers are keen to take advantage of the numerous discounts and sales available leading up to Christmas such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Furthermore, online shopping has made it easier than ever for consumers to start their Christmas shopping early. With the addition of enticing adverts such as the touching John Lewis TV advert and cookie-following internet ads, it’s hard to hold back on any kind of spontaneous Christmas shopping.

Some people have a different approach when it comes to Christmas shopping, some only begin their shopping in the January sales! It might not sound entirely traditional; however, it will certainly save you money.

High street retailers have actually been suffering from slow growth in recent years with retailers only achieving ‘glacial’ growth in January 2018, figures show that this is because ‘consumers have shifted their spending from material goods to experiences’. Furthermore, the head of retail and wholesale at BDO, Sophie Michael, said that people are also seeing their ‘disposable income shrink’ which is why we are seeing consumers prioritise actual experiences with family and friends over material possessions.

Food and drink is an essential part of Christmas, and is something that the UK public have never taken lightly, spending an estimated £22bn on groceries last year. Last Christmas, it was Lidl that claimed themselves as the ‘fastest growing supermarket after booking record festive sales’. Lidl sold around 600 tonnes of Brussel sprouts and 17 million mince pies, capping off a huge year in which they climbed the supermarket industry ladder, putting further pressure on Britain’s Big Four.

As the countdown for Christmas gets closer, more and more of us are getting prepared; whether that’s Christmas gifts, decorations or even the tree. However, it’s strange to think how commercialised Christmas has become. 10 years ago, people wouldn’t have considered rummaging through boxes looking for Christmas decorations or heading down to the local mall for some shopping, but now it seems like November is the time to do it. With city centres putting up lights and setting up ice rinks, it’s hard not to get into the Christmas spirit this early.

However, for those of you starting Christmas preparation in December then good for you, or maybe not because you’re missing out on all the sales. Either way, Merry Christmas! It’s definitely way too soon to say that actually.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.