Regional Insights from UK & Europe, December 2020
December sees the UK coming out of Lockdown and into a revised 3 Tier system, although perhaps not a lot of change in day-to-day life. As well as navigating the ever-changing world with Brexit negotiations. There is a return to some high street shopping and hospitality, venues who have been able to adapt to open with winter friendly outdoor seating are seeing steady traffic but are still challenged by working within new strict limits of serving alcohol with a substantial meal (although a scotch egg counts!) and mixed household limits.
UK Shoppers have continued to dial up their online purchasing and we have seen Christmas shopping starting early and may be longer. Key categories are in steady growth, tracking at 12.4%+ vs. last year, this is a trend that will look to continue as online becomes more of the day to day purchasing shopping habit.
Within the grocery sector, consumers shopping choices have seen massive increase in those wanting to cook at home, winter has seen an emergence of posh coffee at home as well as slow cooked meals and winter barbecues. The entire supermarket industry is up 13.2% which is an opportunity for NZ businesses with strong relationships to see continued increase in demand.
Private Label offering and share is declining to 33.9% in the last quarter from its 52 w/e figure of 34.2 as consumers resonate more with brands. This is potentially good news as people trust brand New Zealand and may also trade up and treat themselves in this super premium sector over the festive season.
Positive vaccine developments and the first vaccinations given on 8th December, have helped to drive FTSE 100 growth, however the government is forecasting that unemployment will be back to levels seen in the last recession in 2009. Closures of high street retailers like Topshop and Debenhams are adding to this.
As the snow threatens to make an appearance, yearning for a bit of joy from home has never felt so needed, especially at this time of year. With the difficulties of limited opportunity to connect ‘in real life’ with home, sharing the amazing initiatives like Whānau – Voices of Aotearoa far from home at the Royal Albert Hall gives a well needed warm boost.