Trips to UK supermarkets have shot up as Brits prepare to shop both online and in-store for Christmas.
In-store visits to supermarkets swelled 6.5 per cent in the last four weeks ending 6 November. This represents 28m more visits compared with the same period last year, according to data from NielsenIQ.
The online share of sales dropped to 12.2 per cent, down from 12.6 per cent in the previous four weeks, as Brits ventured to shops.
A 2 per cent drop in total till grocery sales was accredited to high comparatives during the same period last year – when shoppers stocked up for the second lockdown.
However, compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, sales jumped 4.9 per cent. Nielsen said this suggested that consumer spending has still not completely shifted back to hospitality and leisure yet.
NielsenIQ has forecast that shoppers will spend a total of £33bn across the major supermarkets in the fourth quarter of the year.
What’s more, the average spend per visit has increased for the first time since July, up to £18.60.
Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “Shoppers are also returning to stores again and spending is expected to remain robust for the next six weeks with Christmas advertising campaigns now helping to boost the festive shopping momentum.
“Last year, Christmas was effectively cancelled, so this year we can expect shoppers to be spending far more than last year on festive food and drink, especially if they choose to economise by entertaining at home rather than eating out.”
Separate data has revealed the West End to be busier than pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
New West End Company said footfall in central London on Saturday 13 November was 13 per cent higher than the same day in 2019.