March 07, 2012 05:29 ET

The Price of Pester Power

Brits shell out an extra GBP 15 billion per year... by shopping with the kids

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 7, 2012) - UK parents spend an additional and un-planned £435 extra per year as a result of taking their kids with them on shopping trips - according to new figures released today by leading online and catalogue shopping outlet

The survey of 2,000 parents showed kids turn on the tears and tantrums to get what they want, with the average British child having perfected the art of 'pester power' at two years and seven months. Shockingly, one in ten kids under the age of one are already master of spotting what they want and doing whatever it takes in order to get it.

And forget about pushy parents, it seems we're fast becoming a nation of 'Push-over Parents'. Even though times are tight for most families, four in five UK mums and dads admit to giving in to their kids 'impulse demands' on shopping trips. In addition, 10 per cent of the 2,000 parents quizzed for the survey admitted buying their children 'whatever they want'.

The kids pester power wish list:

  • 55 per cent demand chocolate and sweets
  • Toys come in second 41 per cent
  • Magazine hit third with 24 per cent respectively
  • Books nab fourth place with 22 per cent
  • DVDs (8 per cent)

What's more, the data shows how UK parents aren't just being hit from a financial perspective - their heads hurt too. Over 75 per cent say shopping with their kids sends their stress levels through the roof.

Sometimes difficult to control - 53 per cent will throw a strop if their parents don't cave in to their demands - kids are pretty savvy when it comes to deploying techniques to get what they want; one in 10 will try to bribe their parents while 30 per cent will go on a charm offensive, giving the puppy dog eyes and asking politely.

While pester power is ubiquitous across the UK, some British kids are more persuasive than others - and none more so than those from Brighton. Perhaps tempted by all the hip, independent fashion boutiques selling urban brand clothing like Joe Browns and Firetrap, kids from the south coast town will add an extra £12.36 to the cost of their parents weekly shopping trip*, compared with the UK average of £8.37.

Gary Kibble, Littlewoods Brand Director commented on the findings, "The fact that the average British parent spends an additional £435 per year as a result of pester power from their kids is a real eye opener - that figure could pay for a holiday for a family of four in the UK in a lot of instances. We're not saying British parents shouldn't take their kids with them when they go shopping but they should certainly be mindful of these statistics. They can always say no to their kids demands but there are other options too - such as doing more of their shopping online'.

The Pester Power List:

  • Bristol (kids add £12.26 to the average shopping trip)
  • Newcastle (kids add £11.50 to the average shopping trip)
  • Birmingham (kids add £11.04 to the average shopping trip)
  • Cardiff (kids add £10.15 to the average shopping trip)

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