Grocery sales hit a record in November as people spent more during the shutdown and started their Christmas shopping earlier, research shows. It also found that sales of goods such as turkeys have soared, with people saying they are determined to make a good Christmas the toughest year of their lives in 2020. But analysts said the £10bn would be spent on food and drink restrictions in England, with some being cut in December for fear of money cuts.
Kantar said the UK retail and hospitality sector, which closed on November 5, was particularly busy for grocers, with sales up 17 per cent on the week. McKevitt said many people were already beginning the countdown to Christmas 2020 and were using more time at home to celebrate big. Sales of mince pies fell 8%, reflecting fewer opportunities to meet friends and colleagues.
Kantar said more than six million households bought food online in November, the highest number ever. This was highlighted by online grocer Ocado, which saw sales rise 38% year-on-year, making it the fastest growing UK grocer.
Morrisons was next with a 13.7% increase in sales, Iceland with a 21% increase in sales and Tesco with a 14.5% increase.
The closures of many other retailers also helped sales, but the supermarkets that remained open after the closure experienced a sales boom as people spent more time indoors and distributed food.
However, one in four shoppers said they spent less than usual on Christmas shopping this year, with half saying it was because they were less or more entertained, and a third saying they were worried about their finances. Supermarkets have come under pressure to use government support to pay dividends to shareholders, prompting some big retailers to repay hundreds of millions of pounds in tax breaks. Nielsen predicted even stronger food sales in December, with £1billion more spent on food and drink than the previous year. However, more than one in four shoppers said this was due to high food costs, while half said it was a result of their finances and Another third said they were worried about their family’s financial situation.
Mr Wkins said: “As the peak of the Christmas season approaches, shoppers will have limited opportunities to chat with each other and the events taking place will be small. Many plan their online orders early and we watch shoppers prepare and buy where they can, such as packaged food, as well as in-store purchases.