Christmas shopping

The Monday before Christmas – 21 December – will be the biggest day for people’s main shop for the festivities this year, a survey from Waitrose suggests.

About a fifth of the 1,000 UK adults questioned online between 28 and 30 October said they expected to do or receive their main Christmas shop on this day, according to the survey, commissioned by Waitrose Weekend.

Tuesday 22 December got about 19% of the votes. Leaving things to the very last minute is off the agenda this year with just under 2% electing for their main shop on Christmas Eve.

Most people said online shopping had changed how they shopped at Christmas: 35% said it helped them to be better prepared, 25% said it made them more relaxed about leaving their shopping until later, and 33% said it meant they did not have to go to the shops as often.

The survey’s findings also suggest that stocking Christmas groceries long before the holidays makes good sense for grocers: more than half of the people surveyed said they had bought festive food early and had succumbed to temptation – so they had to buy more.

The survey reveals that the majority of people in charge of the food on Christmas day start to think about the turkey and trimmings in December.

But 10% start in October and one in 20 turn their minds to Christmas lunch as early as September.