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70% of UK consumers fed up with Christmas

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A study released by TNS reveals that UK retailers have succeeded in putting almost three quarters of consumers off Christmas this year.

Around 70% of people surveyed said that the early Autumn start to Christmas TV advertising and in-store promotions is “annoying”, and feel “fed-up” with Christmas before December even starts.

Christmas advertising and decorations are seen in store as early as October – which 82% of consumers say is far too early. Almost two-thirds think that TV channels and high street stores should hold off until 1 December before promoting Christmas, because 60% of shoppers want to do most of their Christmas shopping after this date.

The findings suggest that high street retailers might have shot themselves in the foot this year – and may risk losing out on the usual last-minute sales, because consumers are now too fed up with Christmas to hit the shops. While there may be little that retailers can do to save face this year, the results present important insights as the year-long preparations for Christmas 2008 get underway in January.

Andrea Wilson, managing director of TNS Consumer, said: “Christmas is obviously significant for retailers and research tells us that merchandising and communications have a key role to play in getting consumers into the right mood.

“Targeted campaigns for those who like to plan Christmas early can avoid irritating the bulk of British shoppers who resent Christmas starting in October. Retailers need to develop their Christmas experience in such as way that it excites and helps shoppers, particularly as the shopping experience remains a key driver of purchase on the high street over on line shopping. If consumers start to hate the early overwhelming Christmas messaging in stores and on TV, they may avoid the high street altogether and go online instead.”

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