The holiday countdown: Baby Boomers kick-start the festive shopping season early

  • New data from Klarna reveals over one fifth (21%) of Baby Boomers have already started holiday shopping
  • This comes as over a quarter (28%) of Brits are planning to start shopping earlier this year
  • Most shoppers (72%) are planning to do the majority of their purchases online during Black Friday

The countdown to the holiday season has started early this year with the new ‘2021 Holidays Unwrapped’ report from Klarna1, the leading global retail bank, payments, and shopping service, showing that over one fifth (21%) of Baby Boomers have already started their festive shopping.

The report, analysing Brits’ shopping habits, reveals that over a quarter (28%) of people in the UK plan to make up for the disappointment of last year’s festive season by starting their shopping earlier. Many early birds have already begun (19%) and another 23% of festive shoppers plan to get started before Black Friday.

Online shopping is expected to rally for the holiday season, with 72% of Brits planning to do the bulk of their buying online during Black Friday. Almost half (44%) of Baby Boomers consider online shopping to be their preferred method with over three quarters (78%) enjoying discovering new products and brands on Facebook and YouTube (20%).

Supporting research from Klarnareveals that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the most active online shopping days for Brits in terms of total volumes, with afternoons and late night shopping proving most popular.

Despite the shift towards online shopping, Baby Boomers enjoy browsing for the perfect gift in real life. A large majority enjoy mooching up and down the high street (62%) with visiting department stores (46%) also rated highly. Nearly 1 out of 8 (12%) of Brits plan to do most of their shopping in physical stores this Black Friday.

When it comes to receiving gifts, it’s quantity, not quality on the cards this year, as over half of Baby Boomers (58%) hope to receive several gifts rather than one large gift. Almost three quarters (73%) would like to receive a physical gift over an experience. Sephora Moon Juice sex dust, Crocs’ unisex baya clogs, and Nubian Heritage african black soap mud masks are amongst the most commonly featured products on Baby Boomers’ wish lists3.

Alex Marsh, Head of Klarna UK, said: “After 18 months of lockdowns and uncertainty, it’s no surprise that the nation is already looking forward to the festive season and spending time with loved ones. Klarna has a role to play in making the festive shopping experience even more enjoyable by maximising convenience and flexibility.”

Findings of this report are based on Klarna survey results and insights from Klarna’s proprietary shopping data. Specifically:

(1) The results of a survey of 7,481 UK Klarna users ages 18-66+, fielded in August 2021. Definitions of each age group are Gen Z (18-24); Millennials (25-40); Gen X (41-56); Boomers (57-66). Methodology.

(2) Klarna shopping data from online purchases in the UK during 2021. Klarna serves more than 17,000 UK retailers and 15 million UK consumers..

(3) The most-saved items to the Collections feature in the UK Klarna app between January-July 2021.

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