How will Milton Keynes residents shop for Christmas?

intu, Milton Keynes
intu, Milton Keynes

Christmas shoppers will pay an extra £110 looking for festive fun outside of the home this month according to a new report by Milton Keynes shopping centre intu.

intu’s survey of 2,000 Britons found that on average they are willing to spend the equivalent of nearly half (40%) of their present-buying budget tracking down Christmas entertainment as they shop, such as a family visit to Santa’s grotto, food and drinks or a trip to the cinema.

The research for intu’s Countdown to Christmas report reveals how a day out shopping is seen as much a part of the Christmas tradition as tree and tinsel, with more than 60% of people planning a visit to a shopping centre or high street this year looking for festive fun.

Forty per cent of Christmas shoppers said hearing festive tunes gets them into the Christmas spirit, 37% love seeing decorations and 31% will take part in festive experiences with friends and family as they shop for the same reason. A further 14% said they enjoyed Christmas shopping more than the big day itself.

“This research reveals the extent to which the attraction of a great in store experience continues to influence shopping behaviour and spend,” said David Fischel, intu chief executive.

“While shoppers are adept at combining online and offline to suit their busy lives, the physical act of ‘going Christmas shopping’ remains an important and special part of Christmas tradition.

“More than a million people will visit an intu shopping centre every day this Christmas to shop, socialise and take part in the many Christmas activities available. We want to make them smile by creating their perfect shopping experience and by getting it right for them, we’re also getting it right for our retailers.”

An additional survey of 200 top retailers for intu’s report reinforced the importance of the in store experience, with investment in additional staff, decorations and events among the top five ways they intend to win their share of Christmas spend. 36% have also changed their store layout, invested in more ‘buy more, save more deals’, experimented with product giveaways and created in store grottos to enhance the customer experience.

And a third of retailers felt having other high performing retailers, bars and restaurant, a Christmas grotto and a lights switch-on event nearby will improve this year’s Christmas trading, with a quarter recognising the value of Christmas experiences and festive music in close proximity.