Are you back in the office and embracing 2020, or still feeling a bit foggy?  Wouldn’t it be nice if someone was responsible for delivering cheese and biscuits, chocolate, or even a gin to your desk?

While you might be struggling to get into the new year spirit, spare a thought for the UK’s retailers who are taking stock of Christmas 2019.  Kantar reports that 2019 saw the slowest rate of growth for the grocery sector over the Christmas period since 2015, with year on year growth showing at just +0.2% in the 12 weeks to 29 December.

With the post-election rush forecast not materialising, as a nation we cut back ‘on traditional and indulgent festive classics. Sales of Christmas puddings were down by 16%, seasonal biscuits were 11% lower, and turkey sales fell by 1%, partly due to a shift to smaller and cheaper joints such as crowns.

And perhaps we weren’t all raising a glass to the last year of the decade, with sparkling wine sales dipping 8%.

It was good news  for Monday 23 December, which saw the busiest shopping day of 2019 – and in fact the largest shopping day ever recorded – worth £798 million, as the nation stocked up before Christmas Eve.

So who were the grocery winners this Christmas?  Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘discounter’s’ Lidl and Aldi took their highest ever combined Christmas share – now accounting for 13.7% of the market. But the big four won’t be celebrating this year….

But it’s not just grocery, according to BRC, the UK retail sector in 2019 suffered its worst annual performance on record, with sales continuing to fall – perhaps with a nod to us Brits enjoying a more frugal Christmas.  According to Barclaycard sales of toys and computer games, as well as clothing were down 3.3%.

It was good news for Black Friday 2019 though, which saw the biggest shopping week of the year, overtaking Christmas for non-food items for the first time!

While we may not have got off to the best start, here’s hoping for a more buoyant new decade… we’ve got ten years to turn this around!


Our consumer PR agency specialises in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer PRFood and Drink PRRetail PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR