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Results of the end-of the year Deloitte survey - 08/11/2012


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According to the 2012 end-of-year survey, Deloitte’s 15th annual analysis of the year-end spending, Luxembourgers decrease the budget they foresee to spend this year by 11.7% as compared to the previous year. With a foreseen budget of €815 per household, the Grand Duchy thus again dropped one place from last year and came in third compared to the other surveyed countries, preceded by Ireland (ranked first with a budget of €966) and Switzerland (second with a budget of €817). Since 2010, this represents a reduction of one third of the budget in Luxembourg, down from €1,200.

This year’s survey analysed the behaviour of more than 18,000 consumers from 18 countries across Europe and South Africa (among those 500 in Luxembourg). For the first time in Luxembourg, the 2012 edition of the survey was conducted with the support of the Confédération Luxembourgeoise du Commerce (clc).

The budget cut in Luxembourg has to be seen in the context of the economic situation in the country, with 57% of the respondents sharing a more negative impression of the economic future, as compared to 52% in 2011. Additionally, 79% of the Luxembourg consumers think that their spending power will be stable or deteriorate in 2013.

The Grand Duchy is in good company: almost half of Europeans (49%) believe that the economy will be in recession in 2013. Pessimism is also gaining ground in Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, South Africa and Slovakia. The situation is different, however, in Luxembourg’s neighbour countries France, Belgium and Germany, as well as, surprisingly, in Greece, Italy and Portugal.

In the light of the economic downturn, 32% of the Luxembourg respondents stated that they would pay more attention to pricing and 20% declared they would buy less expensive gifts this year.

As Georges Kioes, Deloitte partner in charge of the commercial and industrial sectors, explains: “In regards to the troubled outlook of the respondents on the economy of the Luxembourg market, consumers are weighing their purchase decisions more carefully and price is becoming an increasingly important factor in the year-end expenditure decisions. Although there is still a strong desire to enjoy year-end festivities, consumers are being careful about how they spend their money.”

In terms of schedule, Luxembourg consumers disclosed that they will complete their year-end shopping earlier this year. Over the past two years, most of the purchases were done between 15 and 24 December, however, this year’s shopping peak has been added to a majority (61%) of the to-do lists between 1 and 15 December. With this change, Luxembourg aligns itself with the majority of the European customers.

Money comes now as the most desired gift in Luxembourg (45%), like in Europe, followed by travel (38%) and books (34%). In 2011, books were the most wished-for gifts with 54%. However, the most offered gifts this year are books (41%), followed by cosmetics and perfume (28%) (most offered gift in 2011). A mismatch, which will certainly lead to some disappointment, as does the desire for electronic goodies like smartphones and tablets: although they are the most desired present for around 20% of Luxembourgish respondents, only 2% to 5% intend to offer such equipment.

As regards to the buying process, cross-channels remain important in the research and comparison stage, with clicks to gather information and compare and bricks to make the actual purchase. 38% of the Luxembourg respondents still prefer to buy in shops and take their purchases home directly, with 32% of the Luxembourg consumers choosing hypermarkets/supermarkets (25% in 2011) to buy their presents. According to the survey, distributers in Luxembourg need to invest in customer relationship to improve the shopping experience, whereas all other surveyed countries answered that either lower prices or e-commerce would improve the overall shopping experience.

The full report with all results of the survey is available on the Deloitte website at http://www.deloitte.com/lu/christmas-survey-2012.

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Deloitte Luxembourg - Marketing & Communications
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