Early birds prefer to miss the crowds
Shoppers have already spent one third of their Christmas-present money, according to a survey.

The survey, carried out by YouGov for KPMG in collaboration with SPSL, revealed that early present buyers have already spent an average£104 out of their£333 allocated Christmas spend.

KPMG head of retail Helen Dickinson said: 'Every year, the main concern among retailers is how late people will leave it to complete their Christmas shopping. Hopefully, they will not have ignored the needs of the early shoppers, as 31 per cent of the total 2005 Christmas spend is not an amount to be taken lightly. This spend is attributable to the smallish band of shoppers who feel that early is best - allowing them to miss the crowds, while ensuring that the gifts they want are still in stock.'

Some 24 per cent of respondents said they had already completed more than half of their Christmas shopping, if not all of it. However, 40 per cent of those questioned were yet to start their shopping, compared with 36 per cent this time last year.

It was also shown that people are planning to spend less on food and drink this Christmas, with 45 per cent of consumers expecting to spend less than£200 in total compared with 29 per cent in 2004.