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This Year Will Be the Richest Christmas in 7 Years!

Árukereső - While last year’s Christmas was a more toned-down affair due to the coronavirus, and gift‑shopping mostly shifted to online stores, this year we are looking to give presents to more people and spend more. In addition to all that, the shortage of goods is expected to intensify by the end of the year, and continuous price hikes may pose a challenge to those hunting for quality gifts, according to a recent survey by Árukereső.hu, Hungary’s largest online shopping expert, and its market research partner GKI Digital, which has been looking into the Christmas gift‑shopping plans and habits of the adult population for the seventh year in a row.

Last year, the average budget earmarked for gifts was HUF 52,300, this year it is over HUF 60,000 (HUF 60 411), which translates to an increase of 15.5% on average. Spending on Christmas presents can represent up to 17% of the average net monthly household income. In addition, almost 28% of the more than HUF 60,000 budget is intended for children’s presents.

In 2021, the average amount spent per gift will be HUF 9,017, which falls slightly short, by a ballpark amount of HUF 600, of last year’s average spending per gift. That, on the other hand, is no surprise, as we are planning to give gifts to more people this Christmas, and do not intend to drastically change the value of the presents.

The scope of those set to get gifts on the rise again

While, compared to 2019, the number of people listed to receive gifts decreased from an average of 8 to 5 in 2020, we are once again planning to buy Christmas gifts for more loved ones this year, for an average of 7 people. With a wider range of gift recipients, we will also be more daring in meeting people, visiting relatives and travelling during the holidays.

This year again, immediate family is the primary group of gift recipients: 62% of respondents plan to buy gifts for their partner, husband or wife, while more of us plan to buy gifts for our partner’s, husband’s or wife’s relatives (26%) and our friends (20%). At the same time, children will, of course, receive the most presents again this Christmas.

Consumer electronics back in the Christmas gift‑shopping spotlight

COVID redrew the range of hit products for the Christmas season last year, with clothing (51%), toys (40%) and beauty and cosmetics (33%) being the top three product categories intended as presents a year ago.

This year, as in the years before the pandemic, consumer electronic products are most in demand again (43%). Clothing comes in second (32%) and toys third (31%) on the list of the most popular products.

Last year, online gift shopping was a big hit; this year, going to the malls is in again

Due to pandemic restrictions in 2020, doing your Christmas gift shopping relied more heavily on online sales than in any previous year. Online retail in Hungary grew by +45% thanks in part to record sales at the end of the year, putting the country among the top-ranked EU countries in that respect at the close of last year.

In 2021, however, the gradual relaxing of restrictions and a vaccination rate of around 60% by mid-October made the population more daring and optimistic, and restaurants and shopping centres were full again. Although the rise of online retail will continue this year (with an expected annual growth rate of around 30%), the virus situation has not, for the time being, influenced the shoppers’ mindset about where to buy gifts, so traditional retail could once again become the preferred choice for gift shopping this festive season.

In the Y2021 holiday season, fewer shoppers than last year’s ratio are planning to buy gifts from online stores (2021: 77% vs. 2020: 86%), while more shoppers plan to buy in shopping centres and malls (2021: 57% vs. 2020: 49%) or in traditional stores, specialty shops and supermarkets (2021: 38% vs. 2020: 33%).

As we approach Christmas, Árukereső.hu would like to provide priority help to consumers regardless of the product they are shopping for online. “In addition to the more than 20 million offers already on the site to inspire visitors, this year, a gift selection feature will help them to search for and find gifts with a personal touch for women, men and children”, revealed László Baka, Head of Marketing at Hungary’s largest price comparison site.

Shortage of goods and price hikes the biggest challenges for retail in 2021

Every year, the last 6-8 weeks before Christmas are the strongest, busiest period for retailers, spiced up with Black Friday promotions. This year, however, it may be wise to start shopping for gifts as early as possible, since drastic stock shortages and price increases have been hitting the retail sector since the beginning of the year, particularly the technical goods market, due to the disruptions in Asian production as a direct result of the virus, and the slowdown in international shipping. In Hungary, in addition to the shortage of goods, inflation and the deteriorating euro exchange rate are also having a negative impact on consumer prices, and many product categories are limited in terms of choice, as well. Overall, this year’s Christmas season may be more expensive and more modest than the last in terms of promotions and choice. At the same time, Black Friday promotions are expected to be prolonged, and may last as long as November.

Pension premiums and income tax rebates may also have a positive effect on our gift-giving appetite

The uniform pension bonus of HUF 80,000 to be paid in November, whose impact could not be estimated at the time of the survey, will further increase the disposable income of some 2.5 million pensioners, so the effect of this extra benefit on their Christmas budgets might well push original plans upwards. The impact of this extra spending is expected to be felt mainly in the traditional retail sector.

The income tax rebate due at the beginning of next year may also cause a greater (unforeseen and therefore, at this stage, difficult to measure) spending fever this year, but unlike the pension bonuses, it will likely primarily stimulate the propensity to take out loans on goods and lead to more courageous spending by households with savings.


The poll was commissioned by Árukereső.hu and carried out by GKI Digital in October 2021. Polling was carried out using online data collection (CAWI), based on a sample of 1,575 respondents. The survey is representative of the 6.2 million active adult Internet users by gender, age and place of residence.