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Deloitte presents the results of New Year Mood 2009 International Survey

Deloitte CIS would like to present the results of the Holiday Mood 2009 International Survey, which is being held for the twelfth year running and represents an analysis of consumer activities during the Christmas/New Year holiday season. This year, the survey covered 18 countries, with Poland and Luxembourg included in the survey for the first time.

The survey was based on a representative sample from each participant country and carried out through an internet panel, using a similar questionnaire for each country. A total of 17,567 respondents completed the survey.

Russia participated in the survey for the fourth consecutive year.

The online survey was held in Russia in October 2009, in 6 cities with a population of over one million (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don and Ekaterinburg) and covered 706 respondents between 18 and 65 years of age.

The lack of economic stability, noted by Western Europeans as early as the end of last year, became apparent to Russians far later. For this reason, this year’s survey results demonstrate a less optimistic consumer mood than last year.

“During the financial crisis, New Year sales require more sophistication from retailers, in order to win over more customers. Those who are able to attract buyers by providing the most interesting offers or sales promotions and retain momentum over the next year will be the real winners. Even now, we should be looking forward to the post-crisis period and trying to change buying preferences formed during the crisis,” commented Egor Metelkin, Deloitte CIS Partner and CIS Retail Industry Services group leader.

Economic estimates

Asked to estimate the current state of economy, 25% of respondents noted economic stability, another 8% growth, while 51% believed the national economy is suffering a decline. The remaining 16% found it difficult to answer this question. In 2008, 38% noted stability, 16% believed the national economy was growing and 26% had noticed a reduction in economic performance indicators.

In their forecasts for the future, Russian respondents are quite optimistic – 36% believe the economic situation in 2010 will improve, 24% do not expect any changes and think everything will remain around the current level, 27% believe there will be difficulties ahead and that the situation will worsen.

Asked whether the crisis has affected their personal financial standing, 57% of respondents replied affirmatively. In 2008, about 20% of respondents gave this answer.

Responses from Russians significantly differ from those provided by Europeans – on average, throughout European countries, approximately 40% of respondents say that they have been affected by the crisis.
At the same time, it should be noted that estimates of real holiday shopping possibilities are higher than general estimates of personal financial standing.

“Crisis affects mindset much more than the financial standing of buyers”, commented Alexander Dorofeyev, Deloitte CIS Partner and Leader of the CIS Retail & Transport Industry Services group, “New marketing technologies should be used and brand recognition should be improved, in order to turn the tide and achieve consumer growth.”

How has the crisis impacted plans for holiday shopping?

Asked about their purchasing power, as compared with the same period of last year, 37% of Russians noted that they may spend the same amount, while 44% have less money available, and 19% are ready to increase their amount of holiday shopping expenses.

80% of Russians refer to the current crisis environment as the main reason for cutting expenses, while 54% of those intending to increase their spending will do this not because their income has grown particularly, but rather in order to cheer themselves up.

Over half (55%) of Russians plan to buy presents for the same people as last year. Those consumers who intend to cut their budget will do this at the expense of their colleagues first of all (25% of respondents).
When doing their holiday shopping, consumers are more inclined to choose useful, elaborate presents, foregoing impulsive decisions and choosing goods with a longer service life, novelties that have already significant advantages and differences over similar goods, or goods that are already established in the market.

74% of Russian and 68% of European consumers said that they would buy useful goods.

Holiday spending

On average, respondents said that they would be buying 12 presents and planned to spend RUB 700-800 on each item. In total, the “New Year’s budget”, including presents, food and entertainment, will amount to approximately RUB 16,700. Half of these expenses (about RUB 8,400) will be spent on presents, approximately RUB 5,300 on food, and approximately RUB 3,000 on entertainment.

Country Total spending 2009 (EUR) Total spending 2008 (EUR)
Luxembourg 1,150 -
Ireland 1,110 1 355
Spain 735 910
Switzerland 685 580
Italy 665 616
France 650 527
Portugal 620 567
UK 600 930
Belgium 580 597
Romania 573 585
Czech Republic 525 508
Germany 485 401
Slovakia 480 430
Netherlands 400 405
Russia* 380 537
Poland 375  -
South Africa 330 334
Ukraine 205 235

 

Comparing the 2008 and 2009 data, it is critical to factor in the exchange rate difference between local currencies and the euro, as the amounts above are calculated based on the exchange rate as at the survey date.

* - Russia’s amount was calculated based on the average euro exchange rate as at the survey date: for the 2008 survey, the average ruble amount was approximately RUB 19,800, while for the 2009 survey it was RUB 16,700.

Selection of presents

Most of all, Russian consumers would like to receive money as a present, with 49% choosing this option. This position has topped consumer preferences for many years; however, only this year has the number of those wishing to receive money as a present grown half as much again compared with the previous year. Also, laptop computers and, traditionally, cosmetics, can be found high up in the rankings of preferred gifts.
Contrary to expectations, Russians will most likely receive cosmetics and perfumes (51%) as a present. Books are ranked second (34%) in the list of the most popular presents. Approximately 25% of respondents can count on receiving money.

What presents do you want to receive the most?

Top 10 most popular presents 2009
Money 49%
Laptop computer 38%
Cosmetics/perfumes 37%
Jewelry/watches 33%
Books 32%
Travel 31%
Mobile telephones (excluding iPhones) 27%
Gift certificates 26%
Home furnishings 26%
Clothing/footwear 25%

 

Which of the following presents do you plan to give to your friends and relatives this year (excluding children)?

Top 10 most popular presents 2009
Cosmetics/perfumes 51%
Home furnishings 37%
Candy 35%
Books 34%
Money 25%
CDs/music 23%
Clothing/footwear 23%
Jewelry/watches 21%
Gift certificates 19%
Food/beverages 18%


Points of purchase and selection criteria

The key venues for purchasing food for festive meals are hypermarkets, which have been a leading preference of Russian consumers for several years now, as they cover most of the needs of buyers by stocking a wide range of products at attractive prices, all under one roof.

93% of respondents cited a “wide range of products” as their main criteria for selecting a grocery store, while for 92% the “price to quality” criterion is critical for selecting where they buy their goods.

When selecting presents, consumers mostly focus on how best to buy something necessary and useful and avoid spontaneous purchases. For this reason, the “wide range of products” criterion ceases to be of critical importance and most buyers tend to buy presents at local department stores (56%). Hypermarkets retain second place on the list of priorities (49%), while supermarkets come in third (36%). Additional preferences are for specialized stores, e.g. toy shops or sports goods stores, with 29%, while 27% of respondents plan to buy presents at shopping malls.

Deloitte CIS

Deloitte CIS is one of the nation's leading professional services firms, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through nearly 3,000 people in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Kiev, Minsk, Baku, Tbilisi, Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, Aktau, Bishkek, Tashkent, and Dushanbe.

We have been helping our clients achieve success for more than 18 years. Over that time we have completed a number of projects involving adapting international practices to the Russian business environment, and accumulated a solid experience of serving local clients.

Our understanding of the specific nature of the CIS market, combined with the successful experience of a leading global firm, enable us to use our unique knowledge and methodologies to meet our clients’ needs. Working side-by-side, our local and international professionals can successfully meet the challenges facing Deloitte, while maintaining the highest international standards of quality with a focus on the specific local conditions.

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