Shopper confidence in the UK remained stable at -9 in December 2021, compared with November, and 3 points lower than the score of -6 in Dec 2020, according to the latest data from IGD.
The December 2021 Shopper Confidence Index from IGD ShopperVista highlighted that it was a month of two halves for shopper confidence, as the excitement of Christmas festivities was coupled with the uncertainty over the Omicron variant.
Shopper confidence increased from a low of -13 in the first week of December to a high of -7 in the last week, as it became clear – in England at least – that no new COVID-19 restrictions would be activated before New Year.
Rhian Thomas, head of insight at IGD ShopperVista, said, “It’s encouraging to see that overall confidence remained unchanged from November.
"Despite increased restrictions causing a dip in the first week, it’s clear that time spent with friends and family over Christmas helped to bolster confidence significantly by the end of the month.”
In Scotland, shopper confidence increased from -15 to -10 despite the introduction of new restrictions, data showed.
Financial confidence remained stable compared with November, as 31% expected to be worse off in the year ahead and 20% hoped to be better off.
Overall shopper confidence decreased most amongst 35-54-year-olds in this period.
Increasing food prices remained a concern for shoppers, with 86% (vs. 85% Nov’21) expecting prices to rise further over the next 12 months.
Thomas added that shopper confidence is "likely to remain fragile in the first quarter as shoppers contend with a double whammy of the energy price cap review and the National Insurance increase in April.
“This will hit the lowest affluence groups hardest, as a higher proportion of their income goes on food, drink and energy, meaning that their recovery is slower than higher affluence groups.”