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Press releases

CONSUMERS SLASH £3 BILLION OF THEIR CHRISTMAS SPEND THIS YEAR - DUE TO CREDIT CRUNCH

19th Sep 2008


This Christmas, the credit crunch will make Brits tighten their belts like never before by: swapping chicken for turkey, buying fewer presents, purchasing cheaper brands of food and alcohol and being less hospitable towards family and friends in a bid to slash 3 billion off their Christmas spending - according to a new consumer report by Travelodge.

The study of 3,000 Brits revealed this Christmas is shaping up to be one of the bleakest in years as consumers rein back on their spending. Forty nine per cent of adults are dreading the forthcoming festive season, due to expensive food bills and high inflation costs.

This year the average household will spend 483.47 on the festive season which is a 108.53 reduction from 2007. Listed below are the five areas of spending, Brits are cutting back on this Christmas:

1. Buying less presents and not sending any Christmas cards to family and friends

2. Purchasing inexpensive food /alcohol and opting for cheaper alternative options - (example: swapping turkey with chicken)

3. Attending fewer Christmas parties

4. Avoiding entertaining family and friends over the festive season

5. Not buying any new clothes and Christmas decorations

'Scrooge syndrome' is hitting credit crunch Britain this Christmas with over half of the nation (56%) saving money by reducing the number of gifts (and Christmas cards) they give to family and friends. The key people to be eliminated from the 2008 Christmas gift list are:

Colleagues at work
Neighbours
Friends
Uncles, Aunties and cousins
Grandparents, parents and the in-laws
Partner
Friends children

The second biggest expense Brits will be cutting back on this Christmas is entertaining. Forty three per cent of savvy shoppers will be looking to save pounds by: shopping in budget supermarkets, opting for cheaper brands of food /alcohol and adapting their Christmas dinner menu with cheaper alternatives - such as swapping turkey for chicken.

British households are also looking to save money this Christmas by avoiding seeing family and friends over the holidays, recycling Christmas decorations, wearing old clothes and attending fewer Christmas parties.

Sixty seven per cent of respondents reported they are looking to spend Christmas Day with family and friends' - so that they can save money by not hosting the day. (The report found on average 156.78 can be saved by not hosting Christmas Dinner for family and friends)

Mark Kemp, Travelodge Reservations Director said; "Our report highlights the credit crunch is certainly changing consumers attitude and buying behaviour. The consumer trend is shifting towards a low-cost approach when shopping for goods and services. We have seen a double digit growth in 2008 Christmas room sales. This is due to savvy customers booking early to acquire a low rate. Most of our bookings are for people visiting family and friends during the holidays and revellers opting to stay in a Travelodge, after their Christmas party as it may be cheaper than getting a taxi home".

Other key findings from the study included:

31% of households hosting Christmas dinner will ask their guests to bring food and drink with them, as a contribution towards the cost of inviting them

24% of households hosting Christmas dinner will buy cheaper brands of crackers and food and and hide the boxes from their guests

Nine per cent of households will ask their guests for a monetary contribution towards the cost of hosting Christmas dinner

Nine per cent of respondents reported Christmas will be cancelled in their homes this year because they cannot afford it

27% of Brits will be dipping into their savings to pay for the cost of Christmas this year

Respondents reported top tips for saving money is to search magazines, newspapers and consumer websites for money off coupons for consumer goods.

Also shop with a friend and take advantage of the 'buy one and get one free' offers on the high street.

End

For further information, please contact:

Shakila Ahmed
Travelodge
T: 01844 35 8638

Notes to Editor:

The research was conducted among 3000 adults in September 2008 by OnePoll

The 3 billion figure is calculated by taking the saving made 108.53 x 24,479, 439 Number of households in the UK 2.65675351bn

To ease the cost of Christmas, Travelodge is currently offering 100,000 rooms for 19 across the UK till 31st December 2008. Book at www.travelodge.co.uk

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