Outlook for Christmas spending optimistic, says IGD

With the UK grocery market expected to experience 2.6% growth over the festive period, the latest Christmas forecast from the IGD is a positive one.

Shoppers are predicted to spend £22.2bn and while the cost of Christmas is a concern for some shoppers, many still look to the period as a time to treat themselves and those they love.

IGD’s data shows that 66% of shoppers agree that Christmas is the time to splash out, this is an increase from 54% in 2016. More shoppers are claiming to start Christmas shopping early to spread the cost – 45% in 2017 – up from 35% in 2016.

Independent retailers should also be aware Christmas is a period when shoppers look to try something different, with over half of shoppers (55%) saying they look out for new and exciting products.

Shopper Insight Manager at IGD, Vanessa Henry, said: “Our research shows us that shoppers are being savvier with their spending to ensure they don’t have to sacrifice on quality, with more shopping around at several stores to seek out the best deal as opposed to buying cheaper products. We’re also seeing shoppers trying to get ahead of the season’s spending by starting their purchases earlier in the year to spread the cost.”

Only a third (32%) of shoppers have a set budget to spend on food and groceries this year, suggesting opportunities to drive impulse purchases. Notably, 60% of shoppers say they try to plan their food and grocery shopping at Christmas but always end up buying a number of unplanned products (up from 53% in 2016).

“Retailers will need to work harder to strengthen their in-store offer to stand out,” says Vanessa. “Our data shows lots of opportunities for this kind of engagement, particularly with shoppers being more likely to impulse purchase and try new products at this time of year.”

Download IGD’s free ShopperVista Christmas report here to gain more insight into how shoppers are spending this season.

IGD’s Christmas infographic is available on ShopperVista.