Shoppers have shifted their Christmas buying habits and saved the majority of their shopping this year for December.

According to the GfK NOP Christmas survey, exclusive to, 54 per cent of shoppers intend to do most of their seasonal buying this month. In July, only 30 per cent planned to wait until December.

The deep discounting and promotional activities run by many retailers including Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have had a big impact on delayed Christmas spending. Both retailers this week revealed a second round of Sales, with M&S offering 20 per cent off many lines yesterday and Debenhams running another three-day Sale across its stores and online.

GfK NOP retail research director Helen Roberts said: “The finding bears out the theory that consumers are hanging back in the hope of even greater discounts in the final weeks and days before Christmas.”

The report said the credit crunch has meant that consumers are even keener to find a bargain, so are being a lot more savvy in how they spend money in the run-up to Christmas.

The average planned spend has also fallen. At the start of October individuals were planning to spend around£614. In early November this had dropped to£580 and has now fallen to£544.