Christmas shopping is already underway for nearly a third of British public, survey finds

Thirty-two per cent of Britons have already started seasonal spending, with more than a quarter set to spend less.

Selfridges unveil their Christmas Window displays in a picture from the archives
Credit: {

Christmas shopping is already under a way for a third of Britons as people attempt to keep costs down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Research found that 32 per cent of people surveyed by American Express had already commenced their seasonal spending sprees, with presents, cards and wrapping paper among the items most likely to have already been purchased.

More than a quarter of people are intending to spend less than in previous years in the build up to Christmas Day, which is now 100 days away.

Respondents cited money management as their primary reason for having started shopping so soon. Six in 10 of those asked plan to spend the same amount on presents and celebrations as they did in previous years, with 12 per cent planning to spend more.

There were raised eyebrows last month as it emerged that Sainsbury's had started selling Christmas puddings four months before the day itself.

And some branches of the supermarket have also been selling hazelnut and chocolate puddings - which are part of its festive range - while Tesco has already started selling mince pies, fruit cake, and Christmas puddings.

Mince pies are already appearing on the shelves as Britons look to save on seasonal spending. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Meanwhile, separate research claimed that the average Yuletide expense will fall year-on-year from £582 to £512 in response to the damage that the pandemic has inflicted upon millions of livelihoods.

MoneySuperMarket revealed that 16 per cent of people are set to spend less as a result of coronavirus-induced changes to financial circumstances.

Those living in the North-East of England are set to be the most enthusiastic spenders in the run up to the festivities, with an average spend of £630, followed by those living in Wales (£588) and Londoners (£544).

In a sign of the times, half of all Britons will this year establish a Christmas budget, to which 20 per cent have committed to not exceed, whilst 30 per cent still expect to overspend relative to the cash they put aside for Christmas cheer.