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Wednesday 06 December 2017

St Pancras International introduces online gift generator in a bid to reduce the 41million gifts that go unwanted each year

Despite the average Brit spending £354.63 on presents for loved ones at Christmas, new research by St Pancras International also suggests money isn’t always being spent wisely, with £2bn worth of gifts going unwanted each year. 
According to the iconic station and premium shopping destination, one in three will make a last minute dash to the shops for gifts on Christmas Eve, so it’s no surprise that a quarter find festive present buying stressful. It seems thoughtless present buying can have a huge impact on the day itself too, with one in ten adults admitting ‘a loved one hating their present has ruined their entire Christmas’.

For gift buyers, it’s getting the right present for a female partner that poses the biggest headache, with one in five people saying they find this task “very stressful”. Results also indicate present buying puts relationships through their paces - one in four admit to arguing or breaking up with a partner over a present they didn’t like, whilst one in three admit to lying to their partner to spare their feelings.

When it comes to the best and worst gift hunters – surprisingly, recipients say mums get them the worst gifts and daughters come up trumps with the best buys. What’s more, it seems the lengthy time spent with work colleagues pays off as they rank better present buyers than parents.

When asked what happens to unwanted gifts, the research found more than a third of Brits donate them to charity; one in four sell them online; 15% swap them for something else in store; and 10% return them even though ‘it makes them feel guilty’.

Other less resourceful solutions see a third of adults hiding unwanted gifts (14%) or throwing them away (14%), whilst a haphazard 2% admitted to giving a present back to the giver the next year by mistake.

In a bid to help stressed gift buyers in need of inspiration, St Pancras International has today launched the ‘Perfect Gift Generator’ - a smart tool that processes users’ answers to a series of questions to provide a list of gifts that can be found at the station, that are perfectly suited to their recipient. The bespoke offering can be accessed here.

Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1 comments: “We were really surprised by the number of gifts that go unwanted at Christmas. Equally, we understand that it can be tricky picking the perfect present, particularly with so much choice and often, little time, which is why we decided to develop the Perfect Gift Generator tool.

“With an array of stunning products available from our carefully curated selection of retailers, we wanted to take the convenient nature of the station retail offer one step further, by providing inspiration for the one million visitors expected each week in the run up to Christmas.”