Shoppers wrapped up their Christmas shopping a little earlier this year

“Shoppers wrapped up their Christmas shopping a little earlier this year, as the spectre of Omicron turned traditional footfall trends on their head, and led to eerily quiet highstreets over the festive period. November’s retail sales were comparatively high, but challenging trade conditions, a wave of Covid, and restricted consumer spending power all conspired to result in a fairly underwhelming December rush.

“A notable trend this year came in the form of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) use by Christmas shoppers. A record 28% of the adult population were using BNPL by the end of last year, up from 23% the year before, meaning that almost 15 million people were using it over the festive period. Our data suggests that consumers using BNPL spend on average 51% more on fashion for example, than those paying upfront, and at least one in ten people were planning to use BNPL to cover at least part of their festive shopping, so it’s reasonable to assume that the new credit product had a part to play in the early preparation this year.”

Jayadeep Nair, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Equifax UK