Shopper confidence in the UK has risen for the first time since April, new data from IGD has found, as consumers look ahead to the busy Christmas period.
According to the November 2021 Shopper Confidence Index, from ShopperVista, shopper confidence stood at -9 for the month. This was up from -11 in October, which itself was up on a very negative September.
Northern England and Scotland were the only regions that didn't see an increase in shopper confidence, the data showed.
According to the data, some 61% of shoppers are looking forward to a 'traditional' Christmas this year, following the dampened 2020 festivities, while two thirds (67%) are eager to 'splash out' on food and groceries during the festive period.
'Slightly Brighter Outlook'
“Following the bleak picture the Shopper Confidence Index painted last month, it’s refreshing to see a slightly brighter outlook as we head into the festive period," commented Rhian Thomas, head of insight, ShopperVista.
"Assuming that no more restrictions are put in place as a result of the Omicron variant, we expect confidence to be elevated throughout the month."
Despite the increased Christmas cheer, UK shoppers are still concerned about food price inflation, with expectations around price increases reaching an all-time high – some 85% expect food and grocery prices to increase in the year ahead, while 29% expect them to get 'much more' expensive.
Cost Of Living
"Despite the decision by the Bank of England not to raise interest rates at the moment, the media has focused heavily on the rising cost of living," Thomas added.
"We expect shoppers to increase their focus on saving money at the start of 2022, to make up for any overspending at Christmas and prepare for the energy price cap which could see household energy prices jump by more than 40%."
Thomas added that shoppers remain highly sensitive to price increases, as well as product shortages, which is likely to lead to a return to 'savvy shopping' in the new year.