UK parents waste £230 million a year on unwanted presents for their kids

Parents in the UK spend millions of pounds every year on Christmas presents for their children. But just how much of it is wasted?

One retail analyst says that parents waste £230 million a year on presents for their kids which end up not being used just days after opening.

A survey of 2,000 parents was conducted by Blue Yonder on the habits of Christmas shopping.

Blue Yonder says that 40% of parents reported buying presents which were quickly dismissed by their kids, costing the average UK household with children approximately £83 a year.

The reasons for not returning unwanted gifts include:

  • Finding it too difficult to return items.
  • Not having the receipt to be able to return it.
  • Not being bothered due to the effort required.
  • Not wanting to seem rude to the gift-giver.

Present buying is a major expense for many British parents. The results of the survey revealed that 10% of respondents had to take out loans to cover the cost of buying presents.

In addition, the average parent in the UK would be willing to spend 15% more if it meant getting the right toy.

A total of 20 percent of parents reported returning gifts they had purchased from a retailer before Christmas Day because they found the same item for a more competitive price somewhere else.

Juhr deBenedetti said: “Pricing influenced by demand and what customers are willing to pay is nothing new in retail. Inevitably during the festive period, demand for toys and gifts increases. Prices are driven by parents willing to go above and beyond to get their child the must-have toy for Christmas. What parents are willing to pay is the new standard in pricing, but retailers should be prudent to ensure their gifts are competitively priced to avoid the returns canyon.

“What does this mean for the future of shopping? Pricing models are evolving in response to the way shopper habits are changing due to online competition. Retailers are realising the need to price correctly during the festive season to entice customers and retain custom, is more important now than ever.”