ING Direct

ING Direct

December 15, 2009 19:01 ET

Grandad Is Christmas Loser

BERKSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2009) -

Not for publication before 00.01hrs 16th December 2009

Brits are set to spend £18.7 billion1 on Christmas gifts this year, but our generosity won't be spread equally among our nearest and dearest.

Grandads will draw the short straw, receiving presents worth an average of just £17 each, according to the new research published today by ING Direct.

This compares with the big Christmas winners, wives and girlfriends, who will pick up gifts worth an average of £150 and £161 respectively from their men-folk this year.

And grandad isn't just losing out when it comes to the cost of presents, but also the thought that goes into buying them. Overall, he's much more likely to receive 'bog standard' gifts like socks, handkerchiefs and aftershave – despite the fact that, contrary to stereotypes, his Christmas wish list includes i-Pods, digital cameras and even Nintendo Wiis.

However, what grandad most wants this Christmas can't be found in the shops, with nearly half saying they'd prefer to receive fewer gifts and have their family spend more time with them instead.2

Like Grandad, perhaps we're all feeling a little less materialistic this year, with Christmas spending set to fall compared to last year. According to the findings, this year's average spend will total around £413, compared to a little over £444 in Xmas 2008.

And we'll not only spend less this Christmas, but will also change the way we meet the cost of gifts. The research suggests a move away from a reliance on credit this year, while at the same time the number of people using dedicated savings for their Christmas shopping has increased by 50 per cent.3

ING Direct CEO Johan de Wit commented: "It's great that more people have taken the sensible step of saving for Christmas expenses this year, rather than relying on credit and facing a financial hangover in the New Year."

The ING Direct research also reveals that the value of the presents received will vary considerably depending on where you live. And it appears that higher earnings don't equate to greater generosity, with Londoners spending the least at Christmas time (£337). The most generous gift givers actually hail from the North East and Wales, splashing an average of £578 and £523 respectively.

Grandad's Wish-List
For those who aren't strapped for cash, but struggling for inspiration, ING Direct has used its research to put together some top gifts for grandad. A taster of the top five is below, with the full findings available at:

  1. What's on his radar? – Grandads love electronics and gadgets. If he keeps getting lost, why not buy him a new sat nav? Digital cameras, MP3 players and digital radios are also good choices
  2. Less mobile these days? New mobile phones are high on grandads' wish lists – they make a great present and are a perfect way to stay in touch
  3. Try a younger model – Model kits and remote control vehicles aren't just for kids, grandads also love them. Artist materials and DIY tools are also popular choices, and will let grandad show his creative side
  4. Buy clothes he won't loathe – Coats and jeans are popular with grandads – but leave the jumpers, socks and hankies in the shop, grandads just don't need any more!
  5. Action man – Don't think that all the excitement grandad can handle is flicking through his stamp collection – he actually wants to test drive a 4x4, or even a tank! Try an experience day for the most adventurous grandpas 

Family Fortunes Xmas League table (£ spent on each relative)

1. Girlfriends - £161.50
2. Wives - £150.90
3. Daughter - £142.80
4. Son - £129.20
5. Boyfriend - £122.00
6. Husband - £108.50
7. Granddaughter - £71.00
8. Grandson - £67.10
9. Mother - £44.10
10. Father - £39.40
11. Sister - £32.90
12. Brother - £30.60
13. Grandmother - £19.00
14. Grandad - £17.40

Regional Tables (spend per adult by region)

UK average - £413.50
North East - £578.90
Wales - £523.30
North West - £512.70
Scotland - £451.00
East Midlands - £430.00
East of England - £421.80
Yorkshire - £375.10
South East - £368.50
South West - £360.90
West Midlands - £360.40
Northern Ireland - £363.70
London - £337.60

Notes to editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2082 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th November -1st December 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

1. Average adult spend this Xmas = £413.50. Multiplied by Adult population = 413.50 x 45,434,897 = 18,787,330,000 (£18.7bn).
2. 45 per cent of grandfathers questioned said that they'd prefer to receive less gifts and have their family spend more time with them.
3. Last year, 18% of Britons used savings to pay for Christmas presents. This year 28% are doing so. 10 percentage point increase is equivalent to 55 per cent rise.

About ING Direct:

  • ING Direct is the world's leading direct savings bank, with over 22 million savers worldwide. It was launched in the UK in May 2003 where it has over one million customers
  • The savings bank has won a number of accolades for its customer service, website and UK-based call centres, as well as being highly commended at the Moneywise 'Most Trusted' Awards
  • ING Direct is authorised and regulated by De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch Central Bank) and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Services Authority. It is also a subscriber to the UK Banking Code
  • Deposits are covered by the Dutch Deposit Guarantee Scheme to the level of €100,000
  • Interest calculated daily and paid monthly. Must be UK resident, 18+. You will also need a touch-tone telephone in order to operate your account over the phone. We may record or monitor calls.

ING Direct. 410 Thames Valley Park Drive, Reading, Berkshire RG6 1RH.

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