Supermarket chain Asda has looked back at what drove the nation’s shopping habits in 2015.
Asda vice president of brand development and design Fiona Lambert recaps the events that fuelled retail in 2015:
Spring: While spring was on the horizon, Valentine’s Day celebrators chose affordable luxury for their special meal. Deals on steak, wine and desserts for two, saw a huge increase in sales as home romance was favoured over restaurant prices.
As spring skipped into gear, it was all about domestic re-invention. Sales of bedding and accessories grew, as people looked for a quick way to spruce their home interiors without breaking the bank; contributing to George Home outperforming the homeware market by 4.8% in its first year. Meanwhile, when it came to the garden, warm weather created an almost 10% year-on-year rise in spending on gardens, plants and flowers.
Summer: Unpredictable weather drove customers to the supermarkets at the weekends with Saturday being the busiest trading day. Sales of BBQs increased by 140% year-on-year and charcoal by 200%, while garden furniture was up 180%, solar lights up 120% and paddling pools up 250%.
Autumn: October saw England swiftly leave the Rugby World Cup, but the success of the other home nations kept the UK’s spirits buoyant. This celebratory mood saw a surge in sales of party products, including; pizza, wine, beer, and snacks. Prosecco was the unexpected hero of the Rugby World Cup, with sales up 20%.
Halloween was bigger than ever in the UK, with an estimated spend of £250 million and a sales increase of 12% year-on-year. Asda prepared by stocking 259% more costumes than last year and introducing new spooky foods such as bumpkins, ‘putrid’ purple chillies and green swede. Halloween costumes for pets were also introduced – having spotted an opportunity the previous Christmas when Asda sold in excess of 120,000 dog jumpers.
Winter: Despite December being the mildest in 70 years, festive jumpers were still high on the agenda. The Christmas jumper phenomenon continues to grow: sales were up 1,105% since 2012, and sales of Asda’s pet costumes spiked by 45% year-on-year.
Christmas celebrations were high on everyone’s agenda with two million bottles of fizz being sold in December alone and three bottles of Prosecco being popped for every bottle of Champagne.
Commenting further on the trends, Fiona said: “We needed to remain flexible this year to meet the demands of the weather and what our customers needed season to season. It’s been about reacting in the right way to maximise convenience for them across food, home and clothing.
“Our teams work round the clock to ensure innovation and trends are being discovered and new products are landing on shelf each season. The unpredictability of 2015 meant a tough ride for most retailers but we’ve got everything in place to make sure our customers can find what they need in-store and online year round, come rain or shine.”
Last year, online sales continued to grow with George.com receiving over 12,000 transactions per day, while more than 10% of customers shopped via mobile or tablet.