Shoppers likely to spend more this Christmas compared with last year: UOB survey

Shoppers walk past the boutique of Emporio Armani at Mandarin Gallery in Orchard Road on July 17, 2013. Singaporeans are preparing to paint the town red this Christmas season, with plans to spend more on gifts this year than last year, according
Shoppers walk past the boutique of Emporio Armani at Mandarin Gallery in Orchard Road on July 17, 2013. Singaporeans are preparing to paint the town red this Christmas season, with plans to spend more on gifts this year than last year, according to a survey by UOB. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR

Singaporeans are preparing to paint the town red this Christmas season, with plans to spend more on gifts this year than last year, according to a survey by UOB.

The poll of 500 people found that Singapore shoppers plan to splash out an average of $893 on Christmas gifts this year, 54 per cent more than last year.

Much of that festive cheer is due to a feel-good factor: eight in 10 respondents said they thought the economy would stay the same or improve next year.

Such positive sentiment means more are looking to buy themselves a present this year. Half the respondents said they would reward themselves with a gift, compared with just 10 per cent last year.

Though women (52 per cent) are more likely to buy a present for themselves than men (44 per cent), men are more extravagant in their purchases.

On average, men will spend $631 on their own gifts, compared to women, who are only willing to spend about $348 on themselves.

Shoppers here are also spreading the Christmas cheer around: 62 per cent will buy gifts for their spouses or partners, while 59 per cent will spend on their friends and 48 per cent will give presents to their colleagues.

Despite the buoyant mood, most shoppers say they will stick to their shopping budget, with 62 per cent pledging to do so.

More are also doing their shopping online, instead of squeezing with the crowds at shopping malls.

Some 35 per cent of all Christmas shopping is being done virtually this year, compared with 28 per cent last year.

But slightly over half of all Christmas shopping will still be done at stores here, with the remaining 13 per cent of gifts likely to be bought overseas.

The UOB survey, conducted last month, interviewed respondents aged between 25 and 55 who have a monthly income of $2,500 or more.