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These Are The Items At The Top of Young Europeans’ Holiday Wishlists

From electronics to health and happiness, here’s what’s at the top of young Europeans’ wishlists this year…


YPulse’s WE Holiday Shopping Plans behavioral report found that Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe are ready to get into the holiday spirit this year in an effort to create a bright spot in a dark year: more than half say they want to start celebrating the holidays earlier than usual to have something positive to focus on, and three quarters say they are going to do whatever it takes to make this holiday special to make up for the year they’ve had. For many, making the holidays special means shopping. In fact, nearly a quarter of young consumers in Western Europe have already started their holiday shopping.

But while the winter holidays are a time of giving gifts (and buying some for yourself, too), young consumers will also be getting gifts—and they have some specific things they’ll be asking for. We asked young Europeans, “what ONE thing is at the top of your holiday wish list?” Here’s what they had to say:

What They Want for the Holidays 

13-39-year-olds in Western Europe

  1. Clothes
  2. Smartphone / Smartphone accessories
  3. Gaming console
  4. Jewelry
  5. Books / Comics
  6. Trip / Travel
  7. Toys / Figurines / Legos
  8. Shoes
  9. Laptop / Computer
  10. Money
  11. Health & Happiness
  12. Electronics / Tech
  13. Tablet / iPad
  14. Time with family / friends
  15. Perfume / Cologne

Before we get into the things they want most, let’s focus on the most heartwarming items on their wishlists: “health and happiness” came in at number 11 among Western Europe’s Gen Z and Millennials, and “time with friends and family” clocked in at number 15. For French consumers, “health and happiness” is even higher on the list, clocking in at number two. As young consumers face the second holiday season in the midst of a global pandemic, their overall re-evaluation of their priorities in life is causing them to put a greater emphasis on their wellbeing—and that of their loved ones, too. 

But taking it back to the things they can get in a store, Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe want clothes more than anything this holiday season. Fashion is always a top priority for young consumers, and the holidays are always a good time to update their wardrobes. But with lockdowns forcing the majority of young consumers in Western Europe to stay inside for much of the year, Gen Z and Millennials’ fashion needs and wants shifted in ways we’re still seeing play out. Interest in at-home wear skyrocketed and 2020 was rightfully deemed the year of the sweatpants. Meanwhile, our fashion preferences and style behavioral report found that nearly half of young Europeans say COVID has changed the type of clothing they shop for, and the data backs that up: spending on loungewear skyrocketed in the U.K. by 146% year over year to £122 million last summer as lockdowns kept the country indoors. Now, however, young Europeans are ready to get dressed again. The majority agree, “I am excited to dress up again now that quarantines are over,” and “going-out clothes” is one of the top trends they’re interested in now. 

Tech is also big on their wishlists. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and other electronics are all top items they want for the winter holidays, as well as gaming consoles, which takes the number three slot. Gaming got big during the pandemic, and YPulse’s  media consumption report found 37% of 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe have spent money on gaming subscriptions in the past month—so it’s no wonder consoles at the top of their list. For young European males, consoles actually top the list:

More than anything else, young males in Western Europe want the gift of more gaming, while young females are more partial to clothes. Trips and travel are also high on young European females’ wishlist, indicating that their pent-up wanderlust from lockdowns is finally kicking in—and they want to go out and explore again. This is especially true for Millennials:

We predicted that late 2021 would bring a travel boom among Millennials, and it appears they’re already making up for lost time: our recent WE covid impact update found that 23% of Millennials are already comfortable traveling by plane (compared to 19% of Gen Z). Young Italians are the most motivated to get out, with 34% saying they’re comfortable traveling by plane. YPulse’s travel report found that 53% of 13-39-year-olds in the U.S. also have travel planned for after quarantine rules are lifted. Now, Millennials in Western Europe are hoping Santa (or Papa Noël, Father Christmas, and Christkindl) will help make their travel dreams come true.

YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full holiday shopping plans behavioral report and data here.

Don’t have a YPulse Western Europe Business account? Find out more here.