Next time just give them cash: UK shoppers spend nearly £3bn on unwanted Christmas presents

Survey from money transfer service Azimo finds 54% of consumers said they would rather receive cash than a present they did not want.

London, 7th December 2016. After opening up a Christmas present from Aunty Margaret and finding a garishly green scarf, many would continue looking through the wrapping paper, clinging to the hope that the receipt would be included. So it comes as no surprise that money transfer service Azimo has found that UK shoppers spent an estimated £2.7bn* on unwanted Christmas gifts in the last year.

Whilst an average consumer spends £358.42 on family and friends every Christmas, more than one-in-ten (14%) of all Christmas gifts were classed as not wanted. Over half (54%) of consumers said they would rather receive cash than a present they did not want, with 28% saying they had previously returned/wanted to return some of the less exciting gifts they’ve received.[1]

Consumers are paying the price for delivery too: the survey found that UK consumers spend approximately £750million sending gifts via post/courier, with over a third (36%) admitting they would spend more money on gifts if they didn’t have to pay large delivery fees.

Marta Krupinska, co-Founder and General Manager at Azimo, said: “Christmas is a time for giving and we all love the feeling of handing over gifts to our loved ones. But with so many families and friends living in different parts of the world, we need a better alternative. At Azimo we see an increasing trend in sending money as gifts, with our customers saying they’d rather their friends and family back home picked their own present. Sending your loved ones the gift of money puts them more in control, saves you money and ultimately makes everyone happy at this special time of year.”

Elsewhere, the survey showed that consumers spend over twice as much money on their partner as they do for their mum or dad (£97.76 vs. £47.30), with men spending on average £15.88 more on their partners than women.


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Notes to Editor

To find the £2.7bn figure including in this press release, the mean figure found through this study for the average spend per person on Christmas gifts for the last year was £358.42.

This was then multiplied by the number of people aged 16+ in the UK (52,852,169) which totalled £18,934,274,413, showing the total spend for the UK over Christmas in the last year. The mean average of unwanted gifts in the UK was 14.26%. This percentage of the overall figure is £2.7bn.

Research methodology

This online survey was conducted by independent research company Censuswide on behalf of Azimo. The study questioned 1,000 consumers throughout the UK in November 2016.

About Azimo

Launched in 2012, Azimo is the better way to transfer money around the world, touching millions of people’s lives. Fast, simple and safe, Azimo has the largest digital network in the world, enabling customers to send money to over 190 countries, from any internet-connected device.

For more information, visit
Twitter: @azimo

[1] Survey of 1,000 people conducted online by Censuswide on behalf of Azimo, November 2016