New research has found that the majority of Scots intend to snub the big festive discount events as nearly two-thirds plan to cut back on spending this Christmas season.

According to technology and consulting group Accenture, nearly a third of Scottish adults questioned said they would be doing Christmas shopping early this year in a bid to save money. A total of 64% said they will cut back this year, either by switching to cheaper brands or by cutting off purchases of some products altogether.

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However, asked if they would take part in the big discount sales events, a high proportion said that they wouldn’t take advantage of Black Friday (58%), Cyber Monday (61%) or the Boxing Day sales (65%), compared to last year.

In terms of how they like to shop, 64% of Scottish consumers said they still prefer to shop in store, with 58% citing "trying and seeing" products as their primary driver, whilst 34% enjoy browsing for inspiration. At 22%, online delivery was the second preferred option.

“After several years of disrupted Christmases, first by the pandemic and now amidst continued uncertainty and rising inflationary pressures, the retail industry is eager for consumers to fully embrace the festive season," said Stuart Chalmers, joint managing director of Accenture Scotland.

“Our survey has revealed that whilst many plan to cut back on Christmas purchases, the high street remains the most popular destination, with in-store shopping the top favourite. Although surprisingly, whilst shoppers will be looking to save where they can, it seems like the big discount days and festive sales won’t help to drive a spike in winter sales."

The top areas in which shoppers are looking to cut back include: spending less on presents (48%); eating out (34%); and food and drink at home (22%).

Looking ahead to January and beyond, 35% of Scottish consumers said they are not confident about their financial situation improving. While 62% said every day bills will remain their biggest financial priority for 2024, a minority remain keen to invest in a few luxuries with 28% planning to spend on home improvements, and a further 33% saving up for a holiday.

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Accenture also found that "shrinkflation" is impacting sales and brand loyalty, with nearly three-quarters of consumers having noted this trend during the past 12 months. In Scotland, 61% of shoppers reported recently switching brands to save on cash.

"Shrinkflation's impact extends beyond consumer spending, influencing brand loyalty and driving shifts towards other retailers or supermarket own labels," Mr Chalmers added. "As shoppers are short on cash during this peak season, retailers can't afford to lose consumer trust."