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Europeans are expected to significantly cut their spending in the Christmas season this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit their incomes, closed shops, and restricted social gatherings.

According to data presented by Finaria, the lockdown measures are forecast to trigger an almost €30bn plunge in Christmas spending in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, as the top three markets in Europe.

French Christmas Spending to Plunge by €13.2B, Britons to Spend €12.1B Less Amid Lockdown

Statistics show the United Kingdom tops the list of Christmas spending in Europe. Between 2016 and 2018, Britons spend around €85bn each year, revealed Statista and VoucherCodes data. In 2019, this figure jumped to €91.5bn.

However, the new COVID-19 lockdown measures triggered a sharp drop with retail sales in the Christmas season falling to €80.9bn, €12.1bn less than was initially forecast.

Statistics also show the value of the UK’s store-based retail sales made during the Christmas season is expected to plunge in 2020, while online sales are forecast to hit new records.

According to research, this holiday season, covering the six weeks from mid-November to the end of December, Britons are expected to spend around €42bn in brick-and-mortar stores, a 37% drop in a year. At the same time, online sales are forecast to hit €38.7bn, 58% more than a year ago.

Britons are expected to spend the most on consumer electronics gifts this year, around €57.5, compared to €52 in 2019. However, statistics show that per capita spending on clothing and footwear saw the most significant drop, falling from €59.3 in 2019 to €31.5 in 2020.

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As the second-largest market on this list, Germany is expected to witness a €4.6bn plunge in Christmas spending due to the coronavirus lockdown. Statistics show Germans are forecast to spend around €76bn in the 2020 Christmas season, down from the pre-lockdown estimations of €80.6bn.

The Deloitte Christmas Survey 2020 also showed they plan to spend around €168 on Christmas gifts this year, down from €217 in 2019, while their budget for food in Christmas time amounts to €117, a slight increase compared to last year.

However, statistics show France is expected to witness the most significant drop in Christmas spending among the top three European countries this year. Before the new lockdown measures, the French were forecast to spend around €70.8bn on Christmas shopping. This figure plunged by €13.2bn after the lockdown measures were re-introduced.

Italy and Spain to Witness a €9B Plunge in Christmas Spending

The Statista and VoucherCodes data showed the Italians are expected to spend €36.5bn on Christmas shopping this year, €6bn less compared to pre-lockdown estimations. The Confcommercio-Imprese per l’Italia survey also revealed that 84.5% of respondents would spend a modest Christmas time this year, almost 16% more than a year ago.

Italian consumers are going to tone down their Christmas shopping habits. According to a survey, only 74% of respondents will buy Christmas gifts, down from 87% in 2019, with almost nine people out of 10 expecting a very gloomy Christmas.

As the fifth European market on this list, Spain is expected to witness a €3bn drop in Christmas spending this year. Netherlands and Belgium follow with €2.7bn and €2.2bn drop, respectively.

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