IGD’s CEO, Susan Barratt, contributes to the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor, providing insight on UK food and drink sales.
December saw strong headline growth in food and drink sales, registering a notable acceleration over sales in November. With Christmas falling on a Sunday, the week ending Saturday 24 December delivered the biggest cash value ever recorded for a trading week in the sector. Despite this buoyancy, volumes in December were essentially flat, indicating that inflation continues to fuel growth. However, the flat volume number is an improvement on the rest of 2022, showing that Christmas still had the power to shift the direction of the market.
The festive season provided some light relief with IGD’s Shopper Confidence Index registering its highest levels since July ’22. With no Covid restrictions for the first time since 2019, shoppers in London were the catalyst for boosting sentiment with confidence improving to -12 in the capital, compared to -22 in Nov’22. However, with the Office for Budget Responsibility predicting the greatest drop in living standards, shoppers will undoubtedly continue to adapt their shopping behaviour to help them save money in the new year.
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