Supermarket sales bolster 12.2% rise in consumer spending

Consumer card spending increased by 12.2% in December as supermarket shopping bolstered essential spending, the latest data has revealed. 

Barclaycard revealed spending on essential items have increased by 13.7% compared to December 2019. 

Supermarket shopping has largely driven essential spending with a 13.9% increase as consumers stocked up on festive food and drink. 

READ MORE: Lidl sales rise 2.6% over Christmas period

Comparatively, non-essential spending lagged at 11.5%, compared to November’s 18.3% growth. 

The news comes as inflation rates have reached the highest point in 10 years, with 43% of Brits fearing inflation would affect their household budgeting. 

Coupled with Omicron fears, essential and grocery items overtook clothing and department sales growth as Brits opted to avoid high streets. 

Sustainable consumption has also seen 41% of Brits commit to changes in 2022, with 50% planning to purchase fewer plastic goods and 41% buying less overall to reduce their carbon footprint. 

“While consumer card spending levels are up on 2019, December was a mixed picture for retail, hospitality and leisure, as restrictions to tackle the spread of Omicron started to take effect,” said Barclaycard’s head of consumer products Jose Carvalho. 

“However, there were some bright spots. Spending on essential items grew strongly as shoppers filled their trolleys with food and drink and celebrated the festive period with family and friends.” 

Carvalho added: “It’s also encouraging to see consumers’ widespread intentions to spend more in 2022 to achieve New Year’s resolutions.” 

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