Worries about an economic downturn should not cloud this year's Christmas business. Because according to a survey of the consulting firm EY (Ernst & Young), the Germans remain generous and this year spend on average 281 euros for gifts to the festival. That's just one euro less than last year, when gift budgets rose to a record high. Extrapolated, spending on gifts adds up to 18.4 billion euros, according to EY.
Many donors are obviously very pragmatic and opt for cash or vouchers. According to the survey, more than one in two consumers (56 percent) wants to avoid the danger of falling short in gift selection. "Money gifts are so popular because older people are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable gifts for the younger generation – the interests of younger and older consumers are now far apart," said EY retailer Thomas Harms.
Also for the trade the trend to coupons is positive, said Harms. On the one hand, the vouchers ensure more public traffic "between the years", on the other hand, experience has shown that many vouchers are not even honored. That was particularly lucrative for the dealers. According to the survey, the average budget per voucher is 69 euros.
More than half want to buy gifts in the stationary store
Food and confectionery ranked second in the ranking of gifts in the survey. Books and e-books followed in third place. Considerably rarer than last year, according to the survey, textiles as well as concert tickets or event vouchers may be found under the Christmas tree this year. According to the survey, just four in ten consumers want to give away toys and spend an average of 29 euros, which is six euros more than in the previous year.
The increased wages of recent years and the low interest rates are, according to EY, the main reasons why consumers want to remain generous again this year.
Even if the gift ideas are not always original – after all, far more than half of the 1000 respondents want to go to a stationary store. 54 percent said they would rather buy the Christmas gifts at the local retailer than on the internet. 59 percent said they care about the pre-Christmas shopping experience in the city or in the shopping center. "Christmas atmosphere and the festive ambience of decorated city centers are a great opportunity for the cities and retailers," said EY-expert Harms with a view to the competition through online shopping.
Only for about every seventh questioning was therefore the online gift purchase the first choice. Around a third of consumers had no clear preference.