Amazon reveals UK Christmas retail habits

Reports | Retail
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With the Christmas countdown well and truly on, online retailer Amazon has revealed that on average, each Brit spends 882 hours (more than 36 days) purchasing 1,386 presents across a lifetime, according to a study commissioned to mark the launch of the Christmas Shop and Gift Finder on

Across the average adult lifetime, Brits will receive 630 presents and travel, on average, 20,097 miles to get home during the festive period – the equivalent of travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats 23 times and just short of travelling around the globe once.

No Christmas is complete without the soundtrack to the season and as a nation, we’ll each listen to more than 1,008 hours of Christmas music (the equivalent of listening to Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic All I Want For Christmas Is You more than 16,000 times) and attend 63 carol services across a lifetime.

From sequins to novelty jumpers, we’ll each buy 63 Christmas party outfits to dazzle friends, family and colleagues at any one of the 126 parties we attend over the course of a lifetime. Christmas is also a time for our perennial foodie favourites, with 504 mince pies consumed in a lifetime, and love or loath them, as a nation we consume double that amount in sprouts at Christmas, with 1,008 eaten over the course of our adult life. We each hang 1,827 baubles on our Christmas trees and pull 252 crackers around the table.

The research also delved into the UK’s Christmas gift buying habits to reveal that partners and spouses were voted by 46% of respondents as the best present buyers, followed by mothers (27%) taking the second spot and then daughters (17%).

While the average UK adult will buy 22 presents this Christmas, those in Oxford are the most generous, splashing out on 33 gifts each for their friends and family, followed by the residents of Sheffield who purchase on average 26 presents. Closely behind are the people of Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne who buy on average 25 gifts each.

Of those polled, some of the best gifts ever received included a diamond ring, designer shoes and a holiday of a lifetime to New York, and almost two thirds of the nation (64%) say they prefer their presents to be a surprise.  Perhaps some of the more bizarre gifts respondents have received over the years including a turnip fridge magnet, a bath plug and an ironing board cover were left off the wish list for a reason!

Across the UK, almost half (48%) of Brits carry out all their Christmas shopping online, with those polled citing that the ease of browsing online is the top reason for doing so, followed by saving time and the wide variety of products available.

The poll also revealed that over a quarter (27%) of UK adults still receive a Christmas stocking, with chocolate coins (59%) taking the top spot as the must-have stocking-filler, followed by satsumas (39%), socks (23%) and miniature toiletries (17%). Hoping the Christmas spirit also extends to some end-of-year luck, 12% also hope for a lottery scratch card.

  In a lifetime of Christmases, the average Brit will…

  • Purchase 1,386 gifts (22 per year)
  • Spend 882 hours Christmas shopping (14 hours a year)
  • Receive 630 Christmas presents (10 per year)
  • Travel 20,097 miles home and back for Christmas (319 miles per year)
  • Hang 1,827 Christmas baubles (29 per year)
  • Consume 1,008 sprouts (16 per year)
  • Enjoy 504 mince pies (8 per year)
  • Pull 252 Christmas crackers (4 per year)
  • Attend 126 Christmas parties (2 per year)
  • Listen to 1,008 hours of Christmas songs (16 hours per year)
  • Wear 63 new party outfits (1 per year)
  • Attend 63 carol services (1 per year)

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