The survey by the British Retail Consortium has predicted that 2006 will see the consumers spend an average of £390 on Christmas gifts, up 18 per cent from 2005.
BRC Director General, Kevin Hawkins stated: 'Christmas is by far the most important time of the year for many retailers and it is also the best indicator of how confident consumers are heading into the New Year'.
The Christmas season is essential for retailers, with many outlets making up to 60 per cent of their annual turnover during the period, with the report predicting that £11 billion will be spent on Christmas purchases in 2006, an increase of 10 per cent from 2005. Similarly, many cosmetic manufacturers target the lucrative period, with companies such as Sephora creating a beauty monopoly game, with both Dior and Lancôme creating Christmas charm bracelets with lip-gloss inside.
'These are encouraging predictions for the retail sector after a tough year which has seen a slump in consumer confidence, escalating costs and falling prices. The high street is definitely eager for a boom Christmas', said Hawkins.
Hawkins also suggested that the 2006 sales figures would give a 'genuine read on the state of the economy in the short term'. Therefore, placing a lot of emphasis on the retail period.
The report also suggested that, according to Verdict, 4.5 per cent of total Christmas purchases in 2006 would be done online, statistics mirrored by Jupiter Research who stated that: 'All indicators point to holiday 2006 being the biggest season yet for online shopping'. A statement that could see more cosmetics and beauty manufacturers consider online retail options.