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In Selecting Christmas Gifts, Czechs are More Careful and More Sensitive to Prices

"Czech consumers are making their purchasing decisions more carefully, with price becoming the main factor,"

Martin Tesař, 
Partner in Charge in the Audit Department of Deloitte

Prague, 8 November 2012 – In comparison to the rest of Europe, Czech consumers respond more sensitively to prices and before actually purchasing Christmas presents, they look for information and compare goods – especially on the Internet. In order to select the best gift for the best price, they use multiple retail channels. These are the results of the Christmas Survey performed by Deloitte.

“Czech consumers are making their purchasing decisions more carefully, with price becoming the main factor. Even though consumers still want to enjoy the Christmas holidays this year, they are more careful about how they are going to spend their money,” says Martin Tesař, Partner in Charge in the Audit Department of Deloitte. “Like other Europeans, more than ever before Czechs want to purchase gifts for the best prices. While last year 13% of Czech consumers planned to buy gifts on sale, this year more than a third of Czechs (28%) want to take advantage of sales. In comparison to last year, the number of consumers planning to buy Christmas presents in less expensive shops will increase,” adds Martin Tesař.

„Also, consumers in the Czech Republic are planning to buy less on credit than in previous years. Almost two thirds of Czechs are not planning any purchasing on credit, regardless of the form of the credit – either borrowings from family members, consumer loans or credits offered by retailers,” adds Bronislav Pánek, Deloitte Lead Partner of the Manufacturing and Consumer Industry for Central Europe.

More and more, Czechs favour loyalty and sales programmes. The main reason is the option to use immediate sales and the possibility of acquiring gifts for loyalty points. The majority of Czech respondents (56%) said that in a certain way loyalty/sales programmes affect their purchasing decisions. On the other hand, one in four respondents said that they are influenced by these programmes only to a minor extent or not at all.

In comparison to the rest of Europe, people in the Czech Republic will start shopping for Christmas gifts a little earlier this year. More than a third of consumers (37%) said they are planning to start their Christmas purchases as early as in November 2012. The “shopping boom” in other European countries will start in the first half of December 2012. In addition, Czechs differ from other Europeans, who plan extensive shopping for gifts also during the last days of this year (the period from 25 to 31 December 2012).

Czech people’s total spending on Christmas gifts will decrease by 6%, year-on-year, to EUR 252, which is approximately CZK 6,300. Roughly half of the gift budget is intended for children, who will receive an average of five gifts. Contrarily, there will be a slight increase in spending on food and beverages, as well as on entertainment – such as theatre, cinema or Christmas concerts.

“Almost a half of Czech respondents (46%) have the same amount of cash available for their Christmas purchases as a year ago. Local consumers, as well as other Europeans, prefer to shop for gifts primarily in specialised shops, hypermarkets and department stores,” adds Bronislav Pánek.

The top positions in the lists of gifts Czechs would prefer to receive include cash (47%), books (38%), clothes and shoes (34%), notebooks or computers (33%), and cosmetics and perfumes (27%). These are followed by holiday trips (25%), smartphones (25%) and tablets (23%). A fifth of the respondents (21%) would welcome gift vouchers as a Christmas present.

Combining multiple retail channels is most preferred in looking for and comparing goods, while the actual purchases are mostly made in brick-and-mortar stores that prevail over internet shopping.  In looking for and comparing goods on the Internet, consumers use retailers’ websites, search engines and individual manufacturers’ websites.

In addition, the survey included questions related to the use of social networks in shopping for gifts. Using social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, Czechs search for gift ideas, gain access to reviews and search for sales.

What consumers like about combining multiple purchasing channels in particular is that they can use the relevant advantages of both e-commerce and physical stores to optimise their purchasing. Therefore, we can say that a true cross-channel strategy built on an integrated customer relationship will help retailers gain a decisive competitive advantage,” says Martin Tesař.

Approximately a fifth of all European consumers use the mobile purchasing opportunity and 40% of the respondents would like to use this channel for payments in the future. “A motive for the respondents’ more frequent use of mobile telephones as a “wallet” would be the following: better payment security, the availability of a richer mobile application selection and the availability of a faster Internet connection,” adds Bronislav Pánek.

Deloitte’s fifteenth survey on European consumers’ plans for the Christmas purchases covers 18 countries – principally Western and Eastern European countries. The data was gathered during the second and third weeks of September 2012 and is based on a large representative sample of respondents (a total of 18,587 consumers).

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© 2012 Deloitte Czech Republic


Lukáš Kropík
Deloitte Czech Republic
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