December was a month of two halves for shopper confidence, as the excitement of Christmas festivities was coupled with the uncertainty over Omicron, according to the December 2021 Shopper Confidence Index from IGD ShopperVista – a provider of category, insight and commercial professionals with trusted shopper insights.
The latest data reveals that, despite a slight return to normality compared with Christmas in 2020, shopper confidence remained flat at -9 in Dec’21 – unchanged from Nov’21 and 3 points lower than Dec’20’s score of -6.
December 2021 results
Despite this stability there was a clear split across the month, with shopper confidence increasing from a low of -13 in the first week 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.
Although restrictions were put into place in Scotland and Wales, shopper confidence increased in Scotland from -15 to -10.
IGD ShopperVista; Dec’21
- Financial confidence remained stable from November, with 31% expecting to be worse off in the year ahead and 20% expecting to be better off
- Overall shopper confidence decreased most amongst 35-54-year-olds in December
- Shoppers remain concerned about increasing food prices, with 86% (vs. 85% Nov’21) expecting prices to become more expensive over the next 12 months. This is the highest level since January 2016.
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.
“Assuming no further restrictions are introduced then shopper confidence may be sustained in early 2022. However, this 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.”