In what some may be considered surprising, men are on par with women when it comes to completing their Christmas gift shopping for loved ones.
"With just under 14 days until Christmas, the Retail Council forecasts that men and women will spend $16.7 billion in the retail sector before close of business on Christmas Eve," said Steve Wright, Acting CEO of the Retail Council. The Retail Council is the representative group for the nation's leading retailers.
According to the Retail Council's Christmas Spending Index, while most shoppers have already got their gift buying well underway, 14 percent of Australians expect to do most of their gift shopping between now and Christmas Day. Just under a quarter of shoppers will get the final gift on the last few days before Christmas, with 10 percent expecting to leave their final gift purchases to the absolute last minute on Christmas Eve.
"Lots of Aussies are taking full advantage of extended trading hours to snap up their last minute Christmas gifts. Interestingly, the Index has shown that men have pulled their socks up, and are completing their Christmas shopping at the same rate that as women."
The Christmas Spending Index has highlighted some interesting trends between what men and women are hoping will be in Santa's stocking.
"Universal gift items such as gift cards, clothing, food and "experiences" like tours, holidays and meals scored fairly consistently cross both men and women as gifts they'd like to receive this year. This is in part due to the ease for shoppers in picking out a gift for their loved ones and but also because gift cards, experiences and food can be shared across multiple people in the one family."
However, the Retail Council saw some key differences between some gift categories and their desirability for men and women this year:
- Electronics / entertainment equipment – 35 percent of men versus 13 percent of women
- Hardware – 16 percent of men versus 3 percent of women
- Perfumes, cosmetics and beauty – 31 percent of women versus 6 percent of men
- Jewellery – 22 percent of women versus 2 percent of men
"Christmas time often means people look to spoil their loved ones with non-essential items that they wouldn't usually buy for themselves throughout the early. For men, we see electronics and hardware items high on the wish lists this year, with women hoping to receive jewellery, perfumes and cosmetics," said Mr Wright.
The below table provides a breakdown by state across the 6 week period until Christmas (14 November to 24 December 2016).