Christmas shoppers borrow money and head for charity shops
Credit card spending and second-hand shops increasingly form the basis for Christmas, according to debt management company Payplan.
Nearly half of all shoppers will be turning to charity shops for Christmas gifts this year, with books being top of their shopping list for family and friends.
The findings come from a survey which delved into various aspects of Christmas shopping and revealed that more than a third of people don’t save up for the festive season, with many choosing to spend on credit cards instead.
The research was carried out by Payplan, one of the UK’s largest free debt management companies. It says it has received more than 40,000 calls for help over the past 12 months and believes shoppers’ new-found enthusiasm for buying gifts from charity shops could be a reflection of how hard times are for some people.
Its director, Jason Eaves, said: “Families on a low income operate on tight household budgets and are therefore more susceptible to debt becoming a problem. However, many middle-income families are being impacted by a long-term squeeze on their budgets and under-employment is more prevalent.”
Charity shops have received a high-profile boost recently with a number of celebrities donating designer items. Victoria and David Beckham donated boxes of their clothes and shoes to the British Red Cross in Chelsea last month, raising thousands of pounds for the charity.
As well as stocking second-hand items for purchase, charity shops such as Oxfam have launched Christmas gifts to provide specific help for poor communities abroad.
Oxfam’s Unwrapped range now offers 30 gifts including its famous goat and chicken gifts alongside its brand new “manure” present – although donors do not need to get their hands dirty.