How The Cost-Of-Living Crisis is Stealing Christmas

A photo of a person budgeting for christmas

As the Christmas season approaches, anticipation fills the air. However, this year, the UK is facing a new, unique challenge – The cost-of-living crisis. In this blog, we consider how to navigate a ‘thrifty Christmas’. With many brands aiming to keep spirits high, whilst not overburdening consumers’ wallets.

Retail footfall expected to decrease

With families feeling the pinch from rising prices and essential expenses, it seems that the Christmas magic is slowly declining as hospitality outlets prepare for the holiday season. Footfall in retail centres and high streets has drastically decreased this year due to economic challenges. It is estimated that retail foot traffic has decreased by 1.7% in September to December compared to 2022.

Empty high street before Christmas shopping period begins
Footfall decreases in high streets as Christmas approaches

The cost-of-living crisis continues

As the cost of heating, groceries, and fuel continue to rise, many families are finding it tough to keep up with household expenses. A consumer survey carried out by Barclays found that 44% of Brits were planning on limiting their spending during the run-up to December. As priorities change, the retail and hospitality sectors are left behind. Compared to 2022, post-covid, less people are willing to spend money on luxuries and appearance-enhancing products and are focusing on essentials.


Many outlets have offered their budgeting tips to encourage people to make the most out of their money and find more affordable alternatives. These suggestions include handmade or refurbished gifts and secondhand goods. Over 60% of the public said they would be satisfied with a second-hand gift. Selfridges have jumped on this – releasing ‘The TOY project’ in store, selling secondhand toys and games, in recyclable packing to increase sustainability.

Brands tackling strategies

M&S releases the ‘It’s Never Just Food’ campaign to emphasize the importance of quality and healthy ingredients. The ‘luxury’ supermarket doesn’t back down and aims to win back its customers. In the opposite fashion, Tesco aims to increase the appeal of discounted Clubcard shopping, with more of their products reduced for cardholders. Many other supermarkets have expanded their own brand and value ranges. Sainsbury’s, for example, has rebranded its value range to ‘Stamford Street’ and put forward 20 new products.

The challenges of rising expenses have inspired us to think creatively and rekindle the true meaning of Christmas. Making memories, not debt. We’ve explored various ways to celebrate a cost-conscious Christmas. We think that it is vital that supermarkets and retailers make the right decisions whilst proposing their plans for Christmas. Quality or quantity, which one is more important to you?


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