2014 Christmas spending down by 0.2% compared to 2013

Ishutterstock_207479782RI review of last 2 weeks of Christmas trading reveals a final push on alcohol and chocolate, with cards, crackers and decorations performing best over the full 6-week Christmas period.

Supermarket grocery sales finally ramped up in the final two weeks of the Christmas trading period (13-27 December 2014), bringing relief to retailers at the end of a difficult year.

Total sales for the six-week trading period (16th November-27th December) across the 12 Christmas super-sectors were down on 2013, but only by -0.2% (£7.8m), to a total spend of £4.07bn. Whereas spend declined by -2.5% compared with 2013 in the first two weeks of the period, and by -1.2% in the middle two weeks, sales in the final two weeks were up by 2.1%, growing £35.7m compared with last year to a total of £1.73bn. 

A rise in sales of alcohol and chocolate contributed most to the upturn, with liqueurs and spirits performing best, but these sectors have shown little year-on-year growth over the six-week period.

Sales of turkey/chicken and beef, gammon and bacon in the final two weeks were still down on last year, although stock, stuffing and gravy grew, along with cooking fats.

The worst-performing sector over the six-week trading period was frozen desserts and cream at -6.9%, with poultry close behind at -5.2%. Cards, crackers and decorations performed best, with sales increasing 5.8%, and seasonal cakes, puddings and pies gained 1.6%.

Christmas super-sectors % change in sales value for 2 weeks ending 27 December 2014 compared to same period in 2013
Wine & champagne 4.7
Liqueur & spirits 4.8
Chocolate & xmas selection/novelty packs 4.4
Beer & lager 0.9
Poultry -4.2
Gammon, beef, bacon -4.1
Crisps, snacks, nuts, dates -0.2
Cards, crackers, lights, wraps, trees, decos 10.6
Speciality cheese 3.1
Seasonal cakes, puddings, pies 4.5
Frozen desserts & cream -6.0
Stocks, stuffing, gravy 2.3

Year-on-year comparison across the six-week Christmas trading period

Christmas super-sectors % change in sales value compared to same six-week period in 2013
Wine & champagne 0.0
Liqueur & spirits 2.1
Chocolate & xmas selection/novelty packs 1.5
Beer & lager -0.3
Poultry -5.2
Gammon, beef, bacon -4.1
Crisps, snacks, nuts, dates 0.0
Cards, crackers, lights, wraps, trees, decos 5.8
Speciality cheese 1.4
Seasonal cakes, puddings, pies 1.6
Frozen desserts & cream -6.9
Stocks, stuffing, gravy 0.9

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