Press release

5 Dec 2022 Zurich, CH

Despite inflation and increased energy prices: Swiss consumers are spending more money on Christmas gifts than ever before

Zurich, 5 December 2022. Higher energy prices and inflation are having no direct impact on the amount spent by Swiss consumers on Christmas gifts. The above-mentioned budgets have even risen to a new high: Respondents intend to spend an average of CHF 343.

  • Swiss consumers spend an average of CHF 343 on gifts this year – a new record high
  • Inflation and increased energy prices are impacting intentions: Almost two-thirds wish to reduce their own Christmas consumption
  • Online shopping continues to gain ground: Expected market share rises from 33% to 38% and 57% look to the internet for inspiration
  • For 60%, sustainability is also important for Christmas shopping – regardless of age and income

Zurich, 5 December 2022. Higher energy prices and inflation are having no direct impact on the amount spent by Swiss consumers on Christmas gifts. The above-mentioned budgets have even risen to a new high: Respondents intend to spend an average of CHF 343. This represents a further 3% increase on the record value achieved in the previous year (2021: CHF 334). It is noteworthy that this increase is mainly due to the men surveyed. At CHF 375, they wish to spend significantly more on gifts than last year (2021: CHF 351). Meanwhile, women intend to spend CHF 309, which is less than last year (2021: CHF 320).

These are the findings of a study conducted by audit and consulting firm EY in Switzerland. The study is based on a representative survey of more than 400 adult consumers in Switzerland, conducted at the end of November 2022. The survey period also covers Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

However, these figures are only partially reflected when consumers are asked about their intentions: A majority of 62% would like to reduce spending – 41% of them “slightly” and 21% even “significantly”. The remaining 38% do not intend – at least for this Christmas – to change their consumer behavior. André Bieri, Markets Leader at EY in Switzerland, explained: “On the whole, inflation and increased energy prices do not yet appear to be having a direct impact overall on this year’s Christmas consumption.” Despite the intentions expressed by respondents to reduce spending, Bieri is confident about the situation: “I expect consumer behavior to develop positively. Unemployment in Switzerland is low and the Swiss market is proving stable, with companies’ enjoying full order books. In addition, the first signs of a reduction in inflation can be seen.”

Budgets for Christmas gifts in detail
53% of respondents (previous year: 50%) are planning a budget of more than CHF 250 for Christmas shopping this year; one in five is even planning on a gift budget of more than CHF 500. According to the latest EY survey, only 15% are planning smaller Christmas budgets of up to CHF 100. A detailed look at Christmas budgets shows that 18% of the Swiss consumers surveyed expect to spend between CHF 301 and CHF 500. 16% intend to spend between CHF 251 and 300 and the same percentage between CHF 101 and 200. Only 6% are spending less than CHF 50 on Christmas gifts and 5% say they anticipate a budget of over CHF 1,000.

Looking at the age structure of respondents, it is noticeable that the age groups between 36 and 65 each intend to spend significantly more money on Christmas gifts this year than a year ago: Their gift budgets are each between 10% and 25% above the level of the previous year. Spending by 36- to 55-year-olds is actually up by a quarter.

The income structure shows a familiar picture: Among respondents with an annual income of between CHF 50,000 and 70,000, spending on Christmas gifts increases by almost 50%. For all other income classes, spending remains relatively stable. People with incomes of CHF 35,000 to 50,000 would like to spend a full 9% less.

Lifestyle also has a significant impact on spending: Families with children are still planning to spend CHF 102 or 29% more on Christmas gifts this year than a year ago, while single people are planning to reduce their gift spending by an average of 18%.

Vouchers as a popular gift and the relevance of sustainability
The most frequently mentioned gift category this year is “Gift Vouchers and Money” at 41% (2021: 32%). They replace last year’s front-runners, both of which are losing popularity very significantly: “Clothing” drops from 41% last year to 29% this year, and “Cosmetics” are still mentioned by 22% this year (down from 41% in 2021). The top named items for this Christmas continue to include “Toys” (38%), “Food and Confectionery” (34%), “Printed Books” (33%), and “Event Visits” (19%) and “Jewelry” (17%). Consumers in Switzerland are investing by far the highest sums in “Gift Vouchers” this year: At an average of CHF 62, they intend to spend an average of CHF 13 more on this than on “Toys” and even twice as much as on “Clothing”.

The level of planned budgets by gender is reflected in the differences in gift spending: Women spend slightly more money on “E-Books” and “Food and Confectionery” than men. Men, on the other hand, invest significantly more in the gift categories “Jewelry”, “Consumer Electronics” and “Printed Books”.

Around 60% of consumers in Switzerland say that sustainability aspects play a minor role for them this year when buying gifts and celebrating Christmas (previous year: 75%), and for 12% of consumers they even say they play a major role (previous year: 24%). Women take sustainability aspects into account significantly more often than men: Sustainability plays a role for 65% of women, compared to 53% of men. “When we look at age groups and income levels, we see that the sustainability aspect has become established regardless of age or income. For a majority of respondents, sustainability matters – even when Christmas shopping,” said Mike Sills, Consumer Products & Retail Assurance Leader at EY in Switzerland. To meet their own sustainability requirements, consumers focus primarily on purchasing regional products (34%), reducing/eliminating packaging and wrapping paper (30%), taking sustainability aspects into account when choosing gifts (25%) and purchasing organic foods (20%).

Online shopping displaces shopping centers
In terms of shopping locations and types of shopping, online shopping via the internet is continuing its successful trajectory. While a market share of 33% was expected last year, this year it is 38%. Respondents say they will spend an average of CHF 131 over the internet (2021: CHF 109). “It should be noted that the internet offers more than just online shopping. 57% of respondents say they look to the internet for inspiration for Christmas gifts. In addition, increased home office working is also likely to be a factor in making online shopping the obvious option,” said Mike Sills.

Department stores and shopping centers seem to be the main victims of this development: They continue to lose ground compared with the previous year – the expected market share falls from 34% to 25%. The average amount of money spent per capita will decrease from CHF 114 in the previous year to CHF 86 in 2022. In contrast, specialty stores seem to be holding their own. Their expected market share is only 1% down on the previous year and stands at 22%. Consumers are still prepared to spend an average of CHF 76 in specialty stores, as was the case in 2021.

Coronavirus concerns lose significance
At the end of 2020, the proportion of consumers who considered health protection to be an important argument for shopping online and against shopping at brick-and-mortar stores was still 47%. With the waning of the coronavirus pandemic, this proportion has now dropped to just 31%. Health concerns are also becoming less important when visiting Christmas markets: Only about one in three respondents say that the coronavirus pandemic still plays a role in whether they visit Christmas markets. For 66% of Swiss consumers, however, the coronavirus pandemic no longer plays a role in this respect.


- ends -

About the global EY organization

The global EY organization is a leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. We leverage our experience, knowledge and services to help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies all over the world. We are ideally equipped for this task — with well trained employees, strong teams, excellent services and outstanding client relations. Our global purpose is to drive progress and make a difference by building a better working world — for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

The global EY organization refers to all member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited (EYG). Each EYG member firm is a separate legal entity and has no liability for another such entity’s acts or omissions. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via For more information about our organization, please visit

EY’s organization is represented in Switzerland by Ernst & Young Ltd, Basel, with 10 offices across Switzerland, and in Liechtenstein by Ernst & Young AG, Vaduz. In this publication, “EY” and “we” refer to Ernst & Young Ltd, Basel, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

Show resources