Christmas cost worries consumers

Christmas tree and presentsFour out of 10 Britons who celebrate Christmas (42%) will rein in their spending on presents this year, a survey has revealed.
The Which? research also found half of those surveyed (50%) are worried about the cost of Christmas.
More than a third (37%) of the 1,284 people questioned said they planned to cross people off their Christmas gift lists.

Almost one in 10 (7%) said they will not be able to afford a Christmas tree and 10% said they plan to buy an artificial tree so that they can use it again next year.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: "Cash-strapped consumers are really feeling the impact of rising costs this Christmas. People are being forced to cut back.

"But Christmas doesn't have to be cancelled. Savvy shoppers can save money with online deals, discount days and pre-Christmas sales. You should compare prices between stores and don't be afraid to haggle to get the best price."

More than a third of people (36%) said they were aiming to spread the cost by shopping earlier while more than one in 10 (13%) said they planned to wrap up their own unwanted gifts as presents for friends and family.

Which? expressed concern that many people could be storing up debt for the New Year with 16% of those questioned saying they will be using their credit cards for the majority of their Christmas-related purchases.
Which? surveyed 1,284 British adults online earlier this month.

© 2011 Press Association
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