GfK: Reluctance to buy at Christmas

40 percent of Swiss people plan to spend less money on gifts this year than last year; they will also donate less to charitable organizations.

Image: Chris Vanhove; Unsplash.

Concerns about inflation, rising healthcare costs and general economic uncertainty are having a negative impact on consumer behavior this year. Overall, over 40% of respondents plan to spend less on gifts and a third plan to donate less to charitable organizations than in previous years.

Restraint is also observed in spending on toys: The annual increase in spending on toys, which reached a record level of 500 Swiss francs last year, is down on the previous year at 411 Swiss francs. The proportion of consumers who prefer to buy gifts for toys online has remained at the previous year's level. The trend in stationary shopping is down on the previous year (-8%).

Overall, shopping behavior for toys remains hybrid: 69% of people shop online and in-store, 22% only in-store and 9% only online. The proportion of respondents who have not made any toy purchases two weeks before Christmas - and are then also prepared to pay the full price - is 25% and has remained unchanged for five years. Men tend to take it easy (30 percent), while a larger proportion of women (19 percent) have already stocked up ahead of time.

Consumer behavior outlook for the coming year

Consumer restraint will continue in the coming year. Almost half of Swiss consumers say they want to consume more consciously and spend less in the new year. More than a quarter of consumers are therefore also considering buying more second-hand products in the new year than before - especially women and younger consumers. 22% can imagine buying a refurbished product instead of a new electronic device (e.g. smartphone, tablet, PC, etc.). (refurbished = devices that have been refurbished, cleaned and tested by a manufacturer or retailer). That is 6 percent more than in the previous year.

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