SOUTH Africa’s higher and middle-income consumers plan to spend 34 percent more this Christmas than they did last year, according to a new survey.
But the Acentric Christmas Shopping Intentions Survey 2014 found most of the buying will be for food, clothing and alcohol.
“We can expect most of the spend to come from younger shoppers as those over 50 are far less likely to purchase in the coming weeks,” said Craig Kolb, of Acentric Marketing Research.
The survey says shoppers in South Africa have a more practical focus.
Food and mainstream clothing are top items, along with alcohol. In comparison with the US, South Africans rather focus on essentials than luxuries.
In terms of the types of items that shoppers are interested in purchasing, food leads the way, with 55 percent intending to buy Christmas-related foods, followed by toys (48 percent) and mainstream clothing and accessories (41 percent).
Neil Roepf, chief executive of Debt Rescue, said consumers relied on credit to buy Christmas gifts, rather than using cash. The reason was that they didn’t plan ahead when it came to buying gifts, and this put pressure on household debt after the festive season.
“With regards to Christmas time, we always advise people to plan ahead and to include money for that time on their budgets.
”Almost all credit-active consumers are overindebted, meaning they are at risk with at least three payments on one of their accounts. So a lot of people find themselves on the edge, and acquiring more debt,” Roepf said.