Generational divide: Shoppers over 55 to spend less this Christmas while only a quarter of 18–24-year-olds will restrict their spending

New research from Accenture points to a clear divide across the generations towards spending this Christmas



24 November 2023

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Over 40% of shoppers aged 55 and over say they will spend less this Christmas while only a quarter of 18–24-year-olds plan on restricting their spending.

This is according to new research from Accenture, which reveals a divide amongst generations in the run up to Christmas with the older generation seemingly feeling less optimistic and planning to budget more compared to their younger counterparts.

The survey of 1,000 Irish adults revealed that when it comes to setting budgets for Christmas spending, there is a clear divide across the generations with only 13% of those aged between 25 and 34 having a budget for spending this Christmas, compared to a more cautious three in 10 of those aged over 55. Men are feeling marginally more optimistic than women about their financial situation, at 16%, compared to just over one in 10 (12%) women.

Overall, less than one in five (16%) of Irish consumers are feeling optimistic about their financial situation coming up to the Christmas season and almost one in three (32%) are worried about funding Christmas celebrations. So far this year, 94% of consumers have made cutbacks in their spending habits, with 46% of these making significant cutbacks.

When compared to the previous Christmas period, in 2022, 23 percent of shoppers said they would spend more this year on Christmas than last year, with 45% spending the same, and 31% saying that they will spend less. Broken out between the age demographics, only seven percent of over 55s will spend more this year on Christmas than last, compared to a much higher 31% of 18–24-year-olds saying they will spend more this year, and 29% of 25–34-year-olds saying the same. When it comes to the factors that are important to Irish consumers when making a purchase, cost came in number one (30%) followed by good quality (27%).

“Our findings show that most Irish customers have made cutbacks to their spending this year, and a significant number are concerned about funding Christmas. In times like this, retailers need to be agile and responsive, offering well-timed promotions targeted at the right products and consumers,” said Sinead Barry, head of products, Accenture in Ireland.

“While Irish customers will be looking for value at the tills this Christmas, they’re also looking for quality,” she added. “To deliver this, Irish retailers need to turn to their data and use it to build an understanding of individual customer needs. This will equip them to put the right strategy in place and enable them to respond quickly to their consumers’ changing behaviours. Retailers must be willing to rethink their strategies and make customers feel valued by creating personalised experiences, both in-store and online. This will lead to increased trust and a brand loyalty that can extend beyond the festive season.”

AT A GLANCE: Further findings from the research revealed;

  • One in 10 will work overtime to fund Christmas while just over a third (33%) will fund Christmas using funds in their current account and almost a quarter (24%) will turn to their savings account.
  • Only 20% of respondents plan to spend more than €1,000 this Christmas.
  • The majority of people, almost one quarter, (24%) plan to spend between €100-300 on Christmas this year, which includes all holiday related spend from food to decorations, gifts and socialising.
  • The majority (22%) of shoppers said that they would be changing their spending habits this Christmas to buy from more budget friendly supermarkets.
  • 12 percent of respondents said that they would be cutting back on gifts to close friends and family due to budget constraints, and almost one in 10 (8%) said they will avoid hosting Christmas altogether, on account of the cost-of-living crisis.



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