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The 2012 Xmas Survey. Understanding the future


Kyiv, 19 November 2012

Deloitte would like to present the results of its annual survey of the sentiment among Ukrainian and European consumers during the 2012–2013 Xmas and New Year season.  Disciplined approach to spending and focus on making effective purchases are the two distinct trends of this year. Consumers in most European countries, including Ukraine favor this approach.

Ukrainians learn to live in savings mode.  If couple of years ago our research showed impulsive purchases, today we can see pragmatism and careful budget planning taking the lead,” says Olga Shamritskaya, Senior Manager at Deloitte, Leader of Retail Industry Group.  According to Olga, the price becomes primary factor for most Ukrainians.  During this festive season Ukrainians will primarily rely on their savings.  Demand for credit in Ukraine and across Europe dropped sharply compared with previous years.

Change in priorities      

Compared with other European countries, holiday budget of Ukrainians remains considerably low at UAH 3,684, while Poland and the Netherlands will have the smallest year-end budget.  For the first time in five years, during which Deloitte conducted its Xmas survey in Ukraine, holiday budget will remain almost unchanged compared over the past year (budget grew by a mere 0.5% in hryvnia), with a tendency for Ukrainian consumers to change their priorities.  Spending on New Year table will increase by 27.7%, while spending on gifts – the main expenditure item, will decline by 18.5%.

In turn, year-end holiday budgets of Europeans will remain virtually unchanged compared with the previous year at EUR 591.  The most reduction in Xmas spendings will be seen in Portugal (13.5%) and Greece (16.2%).   

Ukrainians wish to receive money and holiday travel 

The difference between desired gifts and the gifts that Ukrainians are most likely to receive is becoming more pronounced.  Once again, money has taken the lead in the list of the most desired gifts. This year, 60% of those surveyed would prefer to receive money as a New Year gift in comparison with 49% respondents a year earlier.  Traditionally, holiday travel has taken the second place among gifts that Ukrainians would like to receive as New Year gift.

Though, there will be less people giving money as Xmas presents to their family and friends with only 26% of respondents against 46% a year earlier.  As for the travel, computers and smartphones, ticked as one the most desired items on Ukrainians’ gift wish lists, they haven`t even made it to the TOP 10 most wanted gifts.  However, Ukrainians are most likely to receive cosmetics, perfumes or chocolates.

Residents of European countries also prefer money as a Xmas gift. But their chances of getting the most desired gifts are not great. Europeans traditionally will give each other books and cosmetics as New Year gifts.

Purchasing strategy: careful planning

Reduction in gift spending will not result in smaller number of gifts purchased.  However, the process of gifts purchasing will be more careful and scrupulous.  The survey shows 41% of Ukrainians planning to give more useful gifts compared with a year earlier.  As for the children`s gifts, the priority will be given to educational toys and books. 

There will be more Ukrainians looking for items on sale, while 46% of Ukrainian respondents will pay more attention to prices.  Around 56% of Ukrainians say they will try to reduce the number of impulse buying, while the demand for retailer brands will slightly decline.    

Internet recourses gain popularity among Ukrainian consumers during Xmas preparations as it is seen as fast and convenient retail channel that allows them to both search for gift ideas and to find products at best prices.  Nevertheless, Ukrainians still prefer to purchase their gifts in physical stores where they are attracted by the possibility to easily exchange or refund purchased goods, as well as the payment security.  "Online stores becoming a serious competitor to retailers. To maintain positions, top managers of physical stores should think of ways that would help consumers in choosing and comparing products in shops," says Olga Shamritskaya.  In turn, owners of online shops have to pay more attention to such aspects as ensuring payment security and providing  customers  with possibility of returning or exchanging  purchased goods,”  states Olga Shamritskaya. 


This is the 15th annual Xmas Survey conducted by Deloitte to determine European consumers` sentiment in 18 countries worldwide.  In Ukraine the survey was conducted for the fifth time.  This year’s research surveyed 18,558 consumers using online questionnaire during the second and third weeks of September.  The survey included 796 Ukrainians aged from 18 to 65 and leaving in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odessa, Lviv, Mykolaiv and Sumy.  The survey was conducted with a representative sample for each of the participating countries.


Ruslana Pisotska
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