shopping bags in hand

December Saw Surge In Retail Sales Due To Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping made consumers come out in full force, resulting in a surge in sales for retail outlets.

Shop managers would have been grateful for the busy holiday period after sales declined by 19 per cent in November. Instead, retail sales were +11 per cent in December, with sales volumes remaining typical for the shopping season. 

Principal economist at the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) Martin Sartorius said these statistics are “encouraging”. He also noted: “The decision by the UK government to freeze business rates from April provides some welcome relief to the retail sector.”

However, Mr Sartorius predicted there could be a downturn in sales this January, saying: “Consumer spending [is] set to be hit hard by high inflation in 2023.”

CBI estimated sales will drop to -17 per cent in the year to January, as customers will be watching their spending after Christmas. 

The cost-of-living crisis is also likely to impact spending habits in 2023, which is why supermarkets, including Aldi, have updated their customer strategies to manage this. 

Retail Week recently reported 79 per cent of consumers plan to spend less because of the cost-of-living crisis, 78 per cent will buy cheaper brands this year, and 89 per cent will watch their spending more. 

Managing director of buying at Aldi Julie Ashfield told the publication it is trying to “make food shopping as affordable as possible for millions of households”. 

This could prevent sales volumes from dropping as drastically, particularly if retailers stock essential items the public cannot live without. 

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