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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Credit Crunch Christmas

Press release: 02/12/2009

  • The average person intends to spend £294 on Christmas presents this year

  • But cost saving measures are in place, with half limiting gifts to close friends and family

  • 8.7 million people intend to buy all their presents in pre-Christmas sales

Research by home insurer LV= has found that despite a tough year of recession and cutbacks, Brits aren’t planning to be frugal over the festive season. The nation is set to spend a total of £13.5 billion on Christmas presents this year, with each present-buying adult splashing out £294 on gifts [1]

People in their 40s are the most extravagant spenders, averaging £327 on their festive offerings, while the 18-20s keep their shopping reined in to just £204. The Welsh are the most generous nation with an average spend of £342 each.

But the hard times of the last year haven’t been completely forgotten, and this year many Brits are taking measures to cut corners and save some money in the process. Almost one in three people (27%) admit that this Christmas will be a struggle financially, and 14% have consciously tightened their belts [2]. As a result, half of UK adults (49%) say they will only buy gifts for close friends and family.

Four in 10 people say they are now more interested in value for money than where something comes from, and as a result are looking beyond the high street for their presents this year. Over half (54%) plan to buy presents on online retail sites, marginally up on the 51% last year. Online auction sites have also seen a boost, with a quarter of shoppers (25%) turning to bidding for gifts this year, compared with 22% last year. Cost is clearly a deciding factor for many, with 8.7 million people across the nation (19%) stating that all their Christmas presents will be purchased from shops offering discounts in early sales [3].

To offer extra protection for the valuable presents left in people’s homes at this time of year, LV= home insurance is continuing its annual offer of a free 10% increase in home contents cover limits over the Christmas period.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: “It’s been a tough year financially for many families but clearly people feel that Christmas isn’t the time to completely cut back. Instead, shoppers are opting for alternative ways of saving some money, by buying for fewer people or looking in outlets where they wouldn’t normally shop. The 8.7 million people who intend to buy presents purely in pre-Christmas sales clearly feel that there will be some bargains to be had – so there will still be plenty of presents under the Christmas tree this year.”

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Notes to Editors:

All research unless otherwise marked was carried out by Opinium Research between 13-17 November 2009. 1983 UK adults were questioned online.


LV= is a registered trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

LV= employs more than 3,800 people, serves over 3.6m customers and members, and manages around £7bn on their behalf. We are also the UK's largest friendly society and a leading mutual financial services provider.

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number. 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

[1] There are 48,772,000 adults in the UK. Research figures show that 94% will buy Christmas presents = 45,845,000. This number multiplied by average £294 spent on presents = £13,478,629,000.
[2] Research carried out by Opinium Research between 6-10 November 2009. 2308 UK adults were questioned online.
[3] 94% of UK adults buying Christmas presents = 45,845,000. 19% of this = 8,710,550.