Survey suggests four in 10 Kiwis plan to spend less this Christmas

According to a recent consumer omnibus survey commissioned on behalf of the pricing site PriceSpy, almost four in 10 (38 per cent) Kiwis say they plan to spend less money on Christmas this year compared to last year – and a further nine per cent say they do not plan to spend any money on Christmas at all.

These findings follow earlier information released from PriceSpy that reveal that 93 per of Kiwis say they feel worried by the current cost of living crisis, and 95 per cent of respondents say they feel that price points of consumer goods, fuel and grocery items have increased in New Zealand across the last year.

In light of the financial pressures consumers may feel at the moment, it seems festive shopping behaviours are also changing with PriceSpy’s survey results highlighting how shoppers are becoming savvier, planning ahead for Christmas or otherwise opting to buy last-minute.

Other findings were: ● Two fifths of Kiwis (43 per cent) say they tend to do most of their Christmas shopping up to two months in advance, offering a marked increase of +10 per cent year-on-year.
● And, almost a quarter of Kiwis (23 per cent) say they tend to shop last-minute (up to a week
before Christmas Day), presenting a year-on-year increase of +five per cent.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says as consumers continue to face the ongoing implications caused by the global cost of living crisis, rising inflation rates, it’s of no great surprise that many may be looking to scale back their spending over the festive season to air on the side of caution, or not partake at all.

“Similar to what we have seen happen when consumers face other challenging times (such as
lockdowns), shopping behaviours are once again starting to change. Shoppers are buying early to help spread the cost of Christmas out. Our survey findings, this year, revealed 10 per cent more shoppers say they tend to shop for Christmas up to two months in advance,” says Matinvesi-Bassett.

“A big reason for this increase is because consumers are looking to plan ahead with their finances and buy earlier than they otherwise normally would. This helps to spread out the expensive cost of Christmas over a longer period of time, which is a smart move!”

More shoppers are buying last-minute to make the most of the discounts, too, with Matinvesi-Bassett saying saw a five per cent increase in the number of respondents that say they tend to do most of their Christmas shopping last-minute,

“Again, we believe this change is largely being driven by the need for people wanting to secure a much-needed discount at the moment.”

But is buying last-minute a good shopping tactic? According to PriceSpy’s Price Index, a tool that tracks the daily price changes that occur across the most-popular products listed on its website, purchasing gifts last-minute may actually help shoppers secure a bigger discount.

“Even though buying gifts early can help consumers spread the cost of Christmas out, buying too early may end up costing people more, which isn’t ideal right now, says Matinvesi-Bassett.

“In fact, based on our Price Index research, the Boxing Day sales start to appear ahead of Christmas Day, with indexed price points starting to fall from 23rd December.

“So, purchasing over the last few days before Christmas may deliver consumers the biggest chance of securing a good deal, as many retailers will be looking to run bigger discounts in a last-ditch attempt to generate more sales and sell-through more stock.”

“With price being such a significant factor for consumers this year, for anyone wanting to purchase gifts for Christmas and don’t mind celebrating a day or so later, it could pay off to buy gifts on Boxing Day – as this is when the indexed price is at its lowest, says Matinvesi-Bassett. “In fact, our survey findings found three fifths (62 per cent) of Kiwis say they have waited to
purchase an item in the Boxing Day sale just so it’s cheaper.

Matinvesi-Bassett concludes: “At an already more expensive time of year, with so many people navigating the cost of living crisis and inflation, for anyone looking to spend over the festive season, we encourage people to do-so wisely.

“Whilst shopping last-minute may not suit everyone, for those on a budget and want to alleviate
some of the financial strains this time of year brings, it might be an option worth considering.”

“For anyone considering electronic goods of sort, it may be worthwhile purchasing older models of mobile phones or last year’s headphone releases, for example, as retailers will be looking to sell stock through the stock they have at attractive discounted prices.”

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 (2022) review

HP’s new Spectre X360 2-in-1 laptop is the device I wish I could replace my work laptop with.

Let me explain my work laptop: It’s a close to six years old Dell. The screen is dull, it’s quite heavy and the battery life is woeful: It can go from full charge to dead within a couple of hours. It’s a lemon and is well and truly past its use by date.

I could see myself replacing that dinosaur with HP’s Spectre (If our ICT department would allow it, of course).

Clad in a rather nice aluminium chassis and sporting a 13.5-inch IPS touch screen, the Spectre is light – meaning it’s portable – and has excellent battery life and build quality. In terms of connectivity, ports include a USB-C power connection, rather nicely integrated into one of the diagonally cut-out corners (and the power brick has a braided cable which adds to the premium feel of the package), a USB-C port, microSD reader, USB-A and an audio jack. There’s no HDMI port but the Spectre does come included with a mini dock that also has two additional USB-A ports.

The review unit came with a 12th generation Intel i7 Evo CPU and IntelXe integrated graphics, Bang and Olufsen downward-firing speakers, a not-bad-to-type-on keyboard (I was able to touch type with it quite comfortably) and a 5MP camera and I found it super portable: I hardly felt it in my backpack when I cycled to work.

I see this as a device for creators and business-types, and during Teams calls, the 5MP camera delivered sharp and clear images. Things were so sharp one work colleague commented during a call how grey the moustache I was cultivating for Movember was looking. A neat features, too, is the camera’s software lets you add a ring light that brightens up the image – especially useful if you’re in a darkly light environment.

The OLED screen is, simply put, stunning, too, offering rich colour and great contrast. It was also super responsive when the unit is used as a tablet, responding to finger touches accuarately and precisely.

As a gamer, I tested the Spectre on a handful of games but make no mistake, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop, this isn’t the one for you. This is a productivity machine that can play some games OK. For example, it handled one of my favourite games in recent years, Disco Elysium, OK but it wouldn’t even launch Batman Arkham Knight.

Overall, HP’s 2022 x360 Spectre 2-in-1 is an amazingly powerful portable laptop with an amazing screen that is definitely the machine that I wish I could replace my rather-crap work laptop with.

Final verdict: Is it worth it?

At time of writing, prices on HP’s website for the 2022 Spectre x360 ranged from $4399 to $2949, depending on the model you chose (I noticed that currently HP has the 14-inch model for $2149 as part of a sale), and I recommend the 2022 Spectre x360 range highly, especially if you’re in the market for a powerful and stylish laptop that is portable, has a great screen and has great battery life.