Asda Christmas pudding

Families are planning early for Christmas this year, Asda has said

Households are budgeting and planning more for this year’s Christmas shop than they have done before, according research commissioned by Asda - which is also anticipating a rise in online sales.

Almost a third of mums have already started saving for Christmas this year, with a quarter saying they are budgeting and planning more this year than last, Asda’s Mumdex – a panel of over 5,500 mums of varying ages and backgrounds – found.

One in five said they started saving for Christmas in January and of those who didn’t save last year 5% said they will be saving for Christmas this year.

“Christmas is a really special time of year for our customers, but the strain of the festive season can be a lot to carry. Last year mums told us they were cutting back but this year it’s all about planning and budgeting,” said Asda’s chief marketing officer Stephen Smith.

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Families will also aim to stretch their budgets by cutting corners. Over a third said they would be spending less on household decorations, with one in three mums not planning on purchasing any for the second year running. Christmas cards have also dropped off the priority list, with 6% of mums who bought cards in 2012 stating they wouldn’t be carrying on the tradition this year.

However, mums are not willing to compromise on the kids. A third said they wouldn’t be buying presents for adults, instead spending the money solely on their children, while a quarter said they would be spending less on their partner or spouse.

“At Asda, we’re pulling out all the stops to make Christmas budgets stretch further. Earlier this year we committed to holding down the price of essentials; Christmas is no different which is why this year we will have our biggest ever range of 50p and £1 items in store,” said Smith.

Online shopping

Asda is also anticipating its biggest Christmas for online shopping with more than half of mums surveyed saying they planned to do more of their shopping online – a 14% increase on last year, while 38% plan to make use of Click & Collect services.

“To help make Christmas a little less stressful and even more convenient, we’re expecting a record number of mums to do their Christmas shop online this year,” Smith said.

Asda also said 20% of shoppers are currently using Asda’s Christmas savings card, which last year paid out more than £1m in bonuses to its customers, with more shoppers signed up by February this year than in 2012.