British Columbians Are Spoiling Others and Themselves With Holiday Gifts

Most (83%) Agree That It Is Always Better To Give Than To Receive
Half (50%) Bought Gifts To Reward Themselves During The Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vancouver, B.C. – It is that time of the year again and retailers are all wondering how they will fair in the 2012 holiday shopping season. In this fourth annual Holiday Shopping Study, Ipsos Reid investigates British Columbians’ attitudes toward holiday shopping and their specific holiday shopping behaviours, including those items shoppers are jotting down on their shopping and wish lists.

The spirit of giving is alive among British Columbians, as most shoppers (83%) say that they enjoy buying gifts for others more than receiving. More than half (53%) of planned spending this holiday season is for gifts for children (23%), for their significant other (14%) and gifts for any others (16%). Half (50%) of BC shoppers bought gifts to reward themselves during the holiday season.

When it comes to the idea of regifting, most (62%) British Columbians think it is acceptable to regift, and close to half (45%) admit that they have regifted things received from other people. That being said, the vast majority of shoppers (91%) do not usually end up returning or exchanging most of the gifts they receive from others.

In addition, results show that November to early December are popular times (54% this year, 53% in a typical year) for British Columbians to get their holiday shopping done. Very few are last minute shoppers who leave their shopping until the middle of December (14% this year, 16% in a typical year) and the day/night before (1% this year, 1% in a typical year).

During this holiday season, more shoppers (14% vs. 11% last year) say that they will be spending more, while there are less shoppers planning to spend less (21% vs. 24% last year). Most (62%) plan to spend about the same as last year. A few of the items that are popular holiday gifts include gift cards (48% plan to buy, 46% would like to receive), clothing/shoes/accessories (45% plan to buy, 35% would like to receive) and candy/chocolate/cookies (44% plan to buy, 24% would like to receive).

“These results show that the spirit of Christmas giving is alive and well in BC. It is also interesting to see that for most regifting is not a four-letter word, but rather one more tool in their bag of goodies.” says Dave Pierzchala, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Ipsos Reid.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid study fielded from November 13 to November 19, 2012. This online survey of 1,818 adult British Columbians, 18 years and older, was conducted using Ipsos Reid’s proprietary “Voice of the West Interactive Forum” – an online panel of more than 6,500 British Columbians who have been randomly recruited to match the overall characteristics of the adult residents of the province. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online studies of this nature, however, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error would be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Dave Pierzchala
Senior Vice President, Managing Director
Ipsos Reid

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

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British Columbians Are Spoiling Others and Themselves With Holiday Gifts


Michael Rodenburgh
Executive Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing