Six out of ten Romanians expect to spend less money for the winter holidays, study says

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More than 60% of Romanians expect to spend less money for the Christmas and New Year holidays this year, according to an international ING survey conducted in five European countries (Germany, Romania, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands). Romanians are in first place, along with Spaniards, in terms of plans to reduce holiday spending, followed by Poles (45%), Dutch (32%) and Germans (31%).

„Unlike other years, the winter holidays will most likely highlight two distinct phenomena: on the one hand, the intention to rationalize spending and increase savings – an absolutely natural thing given that we are going through a period of uncertainty, and on the other hand, the increasing migration to online shopping. The trend of more careful management of personal finances is also confirmed by the data for the first nine months of this year which show a higher dynamic of savings, and this more cautious attitude towards spending will be continued during the holidays.

In the case of online sales, their acceleration came both in response to the mobility restrictions imposed this year. Romania remains among the very few countries in Europe where online sales have continued to grow every month after the lifting of mobility restrictions, which confirms the openness that Romanians have to online shopping and, by extension, to the latest digital payment options.”, stated Valentin Tătaru, economist at ING Bank Romania.

The budget

The price of holiday gifts will be one of the most important factors in the purchase decision. Almost 53% of Romanian respondents revealed that they will choose gifts with a lower price. On the other hand, only 23% of Dutch people say they will opt for more affordable gifts.

Over 60% of Romanians say they will pay for gifts and other costs associated with the winter holidays from their own income, while 21% of them say they will pay by credit card, and 14% from their savings. Regarding the unspent money from the travel budget, 30% of Romanians say they will end up in savings accounts, 14% for holiday gifts, and 6% will redirect them for next year’s trips. Almost 35% of Romanians said, however, that they have no money left over from the travel budget.

Online or in physical stores?

In the current context generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Romanians are in the first place in terms of preference for online shopping, to the detriment of those in physical stores. Thus, over 32% of Romanians have firmly stated that they will do their shopping online this year. In second and third place are Spaniards (29%) and Poles (28%), while the Dutch (21%) rank last in the preference for online shopping.

Holiday gifts preferred by Romanians

In choosing gifts, clothing, footwear and accessories are among the top preferences of Romanians (44%). In second place are cosmetics and personal care products (27%), and about 23% of Romanians plan to give money as a gift for the holidays. 17% of Romanians prefer handmade gifts, and 14% of them will buy games and toys. Only 9% of Romanians would choose gift cards, ranking last in the European ranking in terms of preference for this type of gift.

Where and with whom will Romanians spend their winter holidays?

In the context of the pandemic, more than half of the Romanians surveyed said they would enjoy the holidays less than usual. At the same time, approximately 81% of Romanians say that they will spend Christmas with their family and only 10% say that they will spend it with their more distant members. And regarding the New Year, 76% of Romanians stated that they will spend it only with close family members.

Over 95% of Romanians say they will spend their holidays in their hometown because they predict that there will be restrictions on travel or because they prefer this option. Only 15% of Romanians would consider, as a secondary option, traveling in Romania and less than 2% of them, holidays in other European countries.

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