‘One in eight adults already shopping for Christmas’

The most common items bought or pre-ordered early are food, toys and clothes, shoes or accessories.

‘One in eight adults already shopping for Christmas’ iStock
New survey discovered that one in eight adults has already started shopping for Christmas presents and food.

One in eight adults has started shopping early for Christmas presents and food, figures suggest.

Over the past fortnight,12% of adults surveyed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said they had bought items they would usually purchase closer to the festive break.

A further 3% said they had pre-ordered items they would usually leave until later.

The most common items bought or pre-ordered early are food (47%), toys (44%) and clothes, shoes or accessories (33%).

The majority of those polled – 86% – said they had not bought or pre-ordered any items earlier than normal.

The ONS analysed responses from 4397 people between October 20 and 31 as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

It also found that 43% of adults continued to experience shortages when shopping in the past two weeks – down from 53% in the previous survey period.

Some 17% said they had been unable to buy essential food because it was not available, up from 16%, while 18% were unable to buy fuel (down from 37%).

Around two-thirds (65%) said they experienced differences when food shopping compared with normal, such as less variety and items not being available.

Overall, 57% of people said everything they needed to buy while shopping had been available, up from 47%.