As retailers gear up for the golden quarter, Retail Week and ICM lift the lid on how and when consumers are planning to spend their cash this Christmas.

How much will shoppers spend?

The average UK shopper is anticipating spending £446 on Christmas-related shopping this year, according to a survey of 2,000 consumers by Retail Week and ICM. This is only marginally above the predicted Christmas spend of £423 in 2015.

It will come as little surprise that shoppers with children or grandchildren plan to spend £150 more than those without.

What will they spend it on?

Toiletries, clothes and perfume remain as popular presents as ever – with most respondents expecting to buy something from this category.

While, only 17% of people are expecting to buy from the smartphone, tablets or computer category, those that do expect to splurge an average of £210.

When will they do their shopping?

Very much in line with previous years, around half of respondents anticipate having most of their Christmas shopping done before December, with the bulk of shoppers getting it done during November.

An organised handful have already done their shopping this year, and 9% will leave it to the last minute, cramming it into the second half of December.

More women – 59% – plan on getting organised for Christmas before December, compared with 43% of men.

How will people shop?

The data suggests that it will, once again, be a multichannel Christmas, with 83% of adults expecting to do at least some of their shopping online.

This is no more than in the last two years – in 2015 82% of respondents also said they would buy some gifts on the internet.

While shoppers are likely to be doing a greater portion of their Christmas shop online now, particularly as consumers put more faith in timely fulfilment, bricks-and-mortar stores seem to hold value for a segment of shoppers during the Christmas period. 

Looking at the two extremes, 10% refuse to use the internet at all this year, while 8% will do their all their present buying online.

How are consumers feeling about Christmas spending?

Two in five shoppers said they are worried about the cost of buying presents this year, with shoppers aged 18-34 being significantly more worried about the cost of Christmas than those aged over 55.

With this in mind, 71% said they are hoping to take advantage of deals and offers, which could be good news for retailer’s gunning for Black Friday in late November.