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Insight: Christmas shoppers want 'an experience'

A new survey has found that Christmas shoppers regard a day out shopping as much a part of the Christmas tradition as tree and tinsel.


Insight: Christmas shoppers want 'an experience'

The Countdown to Christmas report form the Intu shopping centre chain found that more than 60% of people who were planning a visit to a shopping centre or high street this year were looking for festive fun.

Intu's survey of 2,000 UK shoppers shows that on average they are willing to spend the equivalent of 40% of their present-buying budget tracking down Christmas entertainment as they shop, such as a family visit to Santa’s grotto, food and drinks or a trip to the cinema.

Some 40% of Christmas shoppers said hearing festive tunes gets them into the Christmas spirit, 37% love seeing decorations and 31% will take part in festive experiences with friends and family as they shop for the same reason. A further 14% said they enjoyed Christmas shopping more than the big day itself.

The research reveals the extent to which the attraction of a great in-store experience continues to influence shopping behaviour and spend.

David Fischel, Intu chief executive, said: “This research reveals the extent to which the attraction of a great in store experience continues to influence shopping behaviour and spend. While shoppers are adept at combining online and offline to suit their busy lives, the physical act of ‘going Christmas shopping’ remains an important and special part of Christmas tradition.

“Over a million people will visit an Intu shopping centre every day this Christmas to shop, socialise and take part in the many Christmas activities available. We want to make them smile by creating their perfect shopping experience and by getting it right for them, we’re also getting it right for our retailers.”

An additional survey of 200 top retailers for Intu’s report reinforced the importance of the in-store experience, with investment in additional staff, decorations and events among the top five ways retailers intend to win their share of Christmas spend. Some 36% have also changed their store layout, invested in more ‘buy more, save more deals’, experimented with product giveaways and created in store grottos to enhance the customer experience.

In addition, a third of retailers felt having other high performing retailers, bars and restaurant, a Christmas grotto and a lights switch-on event nearby will improve this year’s Christmas trading, with a quarter recognising the value of Christmas experiences and festive music in close proximity.


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