60% of Brits will complete their Christmas shopping in November: What people are buying now

Anya Meyerowitz
·4 min read
John Lewis survey reveals 60% of Brits will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November. (Getty Images)
John Lewis survey reveals 60% of Brits will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November. (Getty Images)

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If you’ve been starting to shop around for Christmas presents (well, we all need a bit of joy in our lives don’t we?) then you’re probably familiar with the following phrases:

“Why are you looking so early?”

“Someone’s overly organised, aren’t they?”

And: “Why? You’ve got ages!”

But, before you sheepishly tuck your credit card away, we’ve got some news that will reassure you about your festive shopping habits.

According to a new survey from John Lewis, 60% of people will complete their Christmas shopping by the end of November.

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of John Lewis has revealed how the UK is planning for Christmas this year - and as expected, it looks set to be a very different one to previous years.

But, one thing remains the same: we’re a nation of forward-planners. In fact, just 2% of shoppers say they leave gift buying until the last minute.

The survey also revealed that, this year, homemade gifts and sending cards are set for a big resurgence, decorations will be up earlier and in more rooms around the home and more people will be putting up outdoor lights to spread a bit of joy or perhaps in friendly competition with the neighbours.

Of those surveyed, 74% said they are shopping for gifts early and 39% are already stocking up on food gifts like chocolates and panettone.

John Lewis Christmas shop sales are up 63% on last year, with its virtual Christmas shop one of the most viewed pages on johnlewis.com.

Here’s what Brits are buying

Advent calendars

While advent calendars are a staple each Christmas, searches for the countdowns on the John Lewis website are up 48% this year.

The British department store has also expanded its offering this year, launching a highly-anticipated beauty advent calendar, as well as its first ever jewellery advent calendar.

Buy it: Beauty Advent Calendar 2020 | £150 from John Lewis & Partners

Buy it: Jewellery Advent Calendar | £199 from John Lewis & Partners

DIY gifts and kits

Got into arts and crafts during lockdown? Almost a third of people said they would make their own presents this year, with John Lewis seeing haberdashery sales up 30% and craft kits up 85%.

And, continuing the baking theme that has dominated 2020 thus far, Christmas baking kit sales are up 65% with customers already looking for festive activities to do.

Buy it: The Make Arcade Mini Rainbow Cross Stitch Kit | £8.50

Buy it: StompStamps Personalised Biscuit Kit | £19.95

(John Lewis)
(John Lewis)

Christmas treats

Nearly two in five (39%) people are already stocking up on food gifts like chocolates and panettone - and some of us, not naming names, have already started tucking into the edible purchases.

Buy it: Chiostro di Saronno Gin Panettone | £15

Buy it: Waitrose & Partners Gourmet Christmas Hamper | £100

Hampers

Almost half (44%) of the people surveyed said they were planning to get gifts delivered directly to friends, which is likely why hamper sales are already up 265% at John Lewis compared last year.

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Winter Warmer Christmas Basket | £100

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Festive Treats Hamper | £60

Stockings

Making up Christmas stockings is proving popular again, with stocking sales up by 45% - now we just need to get hold of items to stuff them with.

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Velvet Stocking With Faux Fur Trim | £18

Vouchers

Of those surveyed, 20% said they plan to send vouchers or gift cards this year, which let’s face it, is the ultimate fuss-free gift that is always well received.

Currently sales of John Lewis gifts cards are up a whopping 80%.

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Gift Card | from £10 to £500

Christmas cards

With many of us away from our families this Christmas, there may be more festive cards sent than ever before.

More than 70% of people surveyed said they intended to post more or the same amount of Christmas cards this year and you may want to chose your cards soon, as John Lewis’s online card sales are up more than 200%.

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Wreath & Tree Charity Christmas Cards, Pack of 10 | £5

Christmas trees and decorations

Decorating your home for Christmas is a special occasion every year, but this year we’re especially excited to celebrate.

Apparently it’s never too early to start planning your Christmas tree theme as sales of Christmas trees and boxed baubles are up 128% and 107% respectively compared to last year.

Buy it: Molton Brown Festive Bauble Collection Bodycare Gift Set | £30

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Renaissance Assorted Decorated Baubles | £30

Christmas Lights and Wreaths

If your going to decorate, you might as well go all-in, right?

Sales of Christmas lights are already up 48% at John Lewis, with Christmas wreaths close behind at 40%.

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Bloomsbury Faux Pheasant Feather Wreath | £40

Buy it: John Lewis & Partners Pop Art Rainbow Bauble Wreath | £25

Watch: Liberty's Beauty Advent Calendar