Christmas shopping guide 2016

  • Christmas 2016 good to know stampSelected Christmas gifts 62% cheaper in New York compared with London 
  • Some European brands up to 67% more expensive in New York 


Christmas shopping guide 2016

As all eyes turn towards the USA in the wake of its presidential election result, new research reveals that UK holidaymakers travelling to New York for a Christmas shopping break can look forward to great savings over London store prices, provided they choose the right brands.  The 10th annual Post Office Travel Money Christmas Shopping Guide has found savings of up to 62 per cent on ‘must have’ toys and up to 58 per cent on designer clothes.

Compiled with the help of researchers from Cheapflights, the global flight and travel search website, the Post Office report reveals savings of between 11 and 62 per cent on a wide range of American goods – although it found British and European brands could cost significantly more stateside.

Staying within the £390 duty free allowance on goods bought in the USA, Post Office Travel Money has compiled a list of 10 ‘must have’ gift items for family members saving a total of 43 per cent on London store prices. 


New York



Hasbro Star Wars Blade Builders Jedi Master Lightsaber




Vans Men's Authentic Shoes (brown)




Hollister Women's Jean Leggings (rinse)




Hollister Women's Floral Print Graphic Fleece




Disney Pixar Finding Dory 'My Friend Dory'




Abercrombie & Fitch Men's Logo Graphic Hoodie




J.Crew Shift Dress in Leopard Skin




Clinique All About Eye Shadow




Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant




Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses (alternate fit 58mm)









With the latest Star Wars instalment Rogue One due out next month, ‘The Force will be with’ Star Wars fans who can get their hands on a Blade Builders Jedi Master Lightsaber as this offers the year’s biggest saving in New York.  At £34.48, it costs 62 per cent less than in London (£89.99).  Spin-off toys from the latest animated films are also much cheaper in New York.  For example, shoppers can shave 47 per cent off the price of Finding Dory’s ‘My Friend Dory’ toy (£26.52 compared with £49.99).   

Fashion labels Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch offer bargain hunters some of the best savings as they have done in every Post Office survey over the past decade.  Jeans, hoodies and fleeces cost 47-58 per cent less than in their flagship London stores.  Vans shoes (saving 59 per cent), J. Crew dresses and shirts (up to 42 per cent cheaper) and Ray Ban sunglasses (23 per cent less) were among other American brands offering big discounts in New York.

Some cosmetics brands are great value in the USA too but, with the falls in sterling over the past 12 months, these are in the minority.  Look out for Clinique eye make-up and skincare, priced at up to 37 per cent less than in London, or Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (£19.46) at a discount of 28 per cent on the London price of £27.  

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The USA has remained popular with UK tourists throughout 2016, leading to a 13 per cent rise in our dollar sales this year, and the fall in the US dollar’s value in recent days will make the country even better value. 

"Our survey of over 150 items makes it clear that there are still some rich pickings for savvy shoppers, which could result in savings of hundreds of pounds spent on Christmas shopping. However, sterling is still 16 per cent weaker than November 2015 so it’s doubly important for UK visitors to do their homework before parting with cash. It will pay dividends to know which brands to choose and which to avoid.”

Alongside the savings identified in the report, sterling’s fall has exposed a big divide in prices for ‘must have’ gift items in this year’s Christmas Shopping Guide.  The research found that most of the British and European brands surveyed - including Karen Millen, Ted Baker, All Saints, Diesel, Burberry and Superdry – cost far more in New York than in London.

For example, shoppers could find themselves paying over £300 for a Karen Millen Knot Necklace Broderie Dress in New York that would only cost £180 in London – 67 per cent extra.  And a Cropped Top from top fashion brand Ted Baker is priced at around £211 in New York but only £129 in London – a premium of 64 per cent more. 

Similarly, while Clinique and Elizabeth Arden offer shoppers savings in New York, some cosmetic brands are more expensive.  At £75.18, a 30ml pot of NARS night cream is 25 per cent pricier in New York while a Bobbie Brown mascara will cost 18 per cent more than in London (£24.76 compared with £21). Perfumes can cost more than in London too: a 75ml bottle of Gucci Bamboo costs £70 in London but over £113 in New York – 62 per cent more.


20 best bargains in New York

Christmas shopping guide 2016 20 best bargains in New York


Brands best avoided in New York

Christmas shopping guide 2016 20 brands best avoided in New York



Christmas shopping 2016 infographic

Cheap Flight and Post Office Money Christmas shopping guide infographic