Luxury goods and high-end food to dominate Christmas as locked-down revellers treat themselves

Luxury goods, high-end food and products from local businesses are set to dominate consumers' Christmases in Scotland this year as revellers treat themselves in the absence of big family celebrations.

Young mother and her daughter unwrapping Christmas gifts by a fireplace in a cozy dark living room on Christmas eve
Young mother and her daughter unwrapping Christmas gifts by a fireplace in a cozy dark living room on Christmas eve

A report from Accenture found that 82 per cent of people will be dining at their own home for their main festive meal this year, with only 2 per cent planning to eat out in a restaurant, if restrictions allow.

Spokesman Martin Sharkey said the firm is seeing a two-fold increase in the purchase of local brands over global brands, while almost two thirds of people said they planned to treat themselves with some luxuries this festive season.

Mr Sharkey said: “We are likely to spend a lot more on what we consume at home this Christmas as we’re spending less on going out. People may be willing to pay more for premium products and services so companies must innovate to capture that new value. A ‘digital Christmas’ will certainly mean more time at home. It is the new hub of our lives and for the leisure, entertainment and AlcoBev industries this will mean huge disruption, but also opportunity.

“As well as retail moving more and more online, there are other key shifts in shopping habits, which may be even more intensified during this year’s festive shopping season. We are seeing a two-fold increase in purchases of local brands over global brands as people choose to support local businesses.

"Over half of consumers say they will continue making more sustainable purchases. Meanwhile, 62 per cent of consumers say they are more likely to treat themselves with little home-based luxuries.”

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He added: “So if businesses can move quickly to prioritise the change needed to make this year’s ‘digital Christmas’ one that can be celebrated memorably at home, they stand to cement customer loyalty well into January and beyond.”

However, experts warned that while those still in employment may want to treat themselves to make up for this year’s lack of social interaction, others, who have lost work as a result of the pandemic, may have to cut back on spending.

Leigh Sparks, professor of retail studies at Stirling University, said: “I think it will vary enormously this Christmas. On one hand, we’ve got those who have got money and are in a job and are confident - as they are not going abroad this year and are not spending on a big family Christmas, then there may well be a sense of trading up and splashing out.

"On the other hand, the converse is that there are those who are concerned about finances and concerned about their job and there might be a bit of reticence to spend. It will be polarised, like so many things are at the moment.

“In terms of what will be allowed at Christmas, things are still not clear, so there will be quite a lot of late decisions being made by people, so for retailers, predicting how things will be will be difficult.”

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