UK retailers: countdown to Christmas

Date : 22 September 2020

As Christmas products are starting to hit the shelves, retailers and suppliers are hopeful that despite conditions, shoppers will be looking for little luxuries at the end of the year. We explore six themes for Christmas this year and what retailers are doing to help create an exciting festive season.

More time spent at home

With concerns about the virus, people will be spending more time at home. To help create the festive feel and vibe at home, shoppers may be spending on Christmas decorations and indulging in luxurious items.

John Lewis & Partners reported the number of searches for Christmas products on its website was up by 370% compared to last year and the most searched products are Christmas trees, baubles, cards, lights and wrapping paper.

Source: John Lewis

Small gatherings provide more opportunity for luxury items  

Waitrose has unveiled its Christmas selection, helping shoppers plan their Christmas feast from start to finish. It showcased an exciting selection of centrepieces, from slow-cooked beef shin, veggie pastry parcels with Moroccan spices to its festive finales created by celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal, and Fiona Cairns.

Source: Waitrose

M&S is returning its customer- favourite clementine snow globe gin liqueur but with a new twist. The 2020 edition includes a new flavour, Rhubarb and the snow globe lights up to create a magical feel. Good Housekeeping reported that the post of the product on Instagram received more than 20,000 likes within 20 hours.

Source: M&S

Focus on family

M&S has revealed its famous Percy Pig range for Christmas that includes items that can be enjoyed by the whole family. It offers a Percy Pig Advent calendar that is filled with chocolates and sweets, a Merry Percymas tin filled with Percy shaped biscuits and a Percy Pig Bank. Its new additions to the range are Percy soft toy and its Percy Pig inspired mince pies.

Source: M&S

Tackling the pressure on online

With online shopping drastically increased since lockdown, Christmas will prove to be a challenging time for the channel as retailers tackle limited capacity and resources to deliver to the demands expected this year. Retailers are offering alternative ways for shoppers to access products through partnerships with other retailers to increase their reach.

Recently, Morrisons launched its full range of products on Amazon and M&S offered its full range of food products on Ocado. Moreover, partnerships with third-party delivery companies such as Deliveroo will help reduce the pressure during the festive season by offering quicker and more convenient order fulfilment.

Opportunity for frozen food

Frozen foods performed well during lockdown as people had to rely on more home-cooked meals. With the current unprecedented situation, shoppers may continue to resort to frozen meals giving more flexibility in case circumstances change.

Iceland unveiled its frozen Christmas 2020 food range and includes exciting festive spread options from starters to desserts. It has brought back its popular Luxury turkey and has showcased its new family-size, indulgent sweet toffee sponge.

Source: Iceland

Healthy alternatives still popular

Aldi revealed its Christmas range to include exciting plant-based dishes for Christmas 2020. It offers a turkey alternative main that is made from soya and exciting Christmas inspired flavours. It also offers plant-based sides that complement the meat-free turkey main, this includes vegan stuffed balls and its eye-catching vegan Thai Roses.

Source: Aldi

Along with exciting centrepieces, retailers have also unveiled new and interesting plant-based desserts. ASDA has a new take on the gingerbread house and launched its indulgent vegan cottage cake.

Source: Asda