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Our shopping habits throughout the big Christmas shopathon have been revealed in a new study which shows guys make the last minute dash for a bargain… and we’re more likely to buy a present for our pet than our Granny!

East Midlands shoppers are ditching their friends and family when it comes to the annual Christmas shopping trip, with 66% preferring to hit the shops alone. But Peterborough men are the most festive of the sexes, with 44% still preferring to shop with a spouse or a partner when it comes to buying gifts for their loved ones.

The discovery was one of many highlighted in a study around our Christmas shopping habits by Queensgate shopping centre, which explored how the Christmas shop has evolved amid a changing retail environment, as well as who spends what for the festive period.

The study revealed that the Christmas shop has become an increasingly focused expedition in which consumers research gifts in advance, allowing them to make last-minute trips to the shops. Men are more likely than women to be late with their Christmas shopping, as 39% of men claim the short notice allows them to find greater bargains. This compares to a slightly lesser 30% of women who think the same about the ‘eleventh hour’ dash.

But the festive spirit is still alive and well with shoppers increasingly stopping to enjoy a coffee or a meal to make their trip more enjoyable and sociable.


Queensgate surveyed more than 2,000 consumers on their Christmas shopping habits and found that other halves and children are the two most bought-for groups for Christmas gifts. The average amount spent on a partner is £88, with Father Christmas delivering on average £188 of gifts for children. Lowest on the list of average spend are pets (£12) and colleagues (£11). However, despite spending £36 on Christmas gifts for grandparents, more people will purchase a gift for their pet or colleague over grandparents.

Children’s purchasing power is growing in prominence with just under a third of parents giving children a separate Christmas gift allowance, averaging £45.

Food and drink gifts, home entertainment and fashion are the most purchased items for gifts, however consumer electronics top the list when it comes to average spend (£228). With the launch of Playstation 4 and Xbox consoles and the growing popularity of tablets they are likely to retain the top spot this year.


1 in 7 (15%) of people take time off work to do their Christmas shopping

More people buy gifts for their pets (12%), than they do for their grandparents (9%)

We spend an average of £188 on children and £88 on partners.

A third of parents (30%) give their children a separate allowance to do their Christmas shop

57% of people say they enjoy stores Christmas displays, more than the amount who enjoy browsing for presents (46%)

Sam Eastwood, centre director at Queensgate, told ESP – “It’s fascinating how people alter their typical shopping habits for the Christmas shop and it looks like the East Midlands shopper has adopted a steely determination when it comes to festive gift buying. The internet has undoubtedly contributed towards this. Consumers can now be more prepared, researching gifts online in advance, enables them to make the most of their shopping time.”

Queensgate will be extending its opening hours throughout December, providing options for both those who plan and those who leave it late. The centre also boasts a host of coffee break, snacking and dining options to fuel the lone and the sociable (male) shopper!

For gift ideas, all the latest news, Christmas opening hours, parking information, events and competitions, visit

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