The impact of the credit crunch is still hitting consumers according to a new survey from Asda which has found that almost half the grocer's shoppers are already buying Christmas gifts. Of those, 75% say that it's to lighten the financial burden of Christmas and spread the festive costs.
A third of shoppers are also planning to spend considerably less than last year, with 80% of those hoping to spend up to £250 less this year. "The average spend on just Christmas presents in 2008 was £320 per person," says Asda, "meaning consumers are planning to make considerable cut backs this year."
In response, Asda has launched a dedicated online Christmas Shop that includes gift ideas and rolled back prices on Christmas items such as port and cognac.
"With only three more pay days until Christmas, many of our customers have started their festive shopping earlier than ever in a bid to spread the costs this year," says Asda's Jennifer England. "People might think we're crazy for selling gifts already, but our customers are telling us it's what they want so we're doing all we can to help them."
"By spreading the cost of Christmas and buying gifts early, our customers are making sure that they can have a Christmas to remember whilst avoiding any last minute credit card splurges that will leave them paying off the bill well into 2010," she added.