Christmas sales exceed expectations

UK shoppers spent a total of £7.1bn at UK supermarkets in the two weeks ending 25 December, according to new NielsenIQ data.

The figures show that there were 27m more in-store visits during this four-week period compared to 2020, leading to the online share of grocery sales falling to 11.3%, compared to 12.1% in December 2020. This is the lowest online share since the 11.6% of April 2020 following the start of the pandemic.

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said: “British consumers are continuing to adopt an omnichannel approach and whilst online allows them to plan ahead, shoppers are increasingly heading in-store for a regular weekly shop, as well as for last-minute purchases and we can expect this behaviour to continue.”

He added: “Consumers are facing significantly higher energy, travel and other household costs so it’s likely that shoppers will look to make savings on their weekly food shop by managing budgets. We may see them buying what they need when they need it, wasting less fresh food, and steering clear of unnecessary cupboard stocking.”