In the wider economy, weak labour market conditions combined with weaker economic growth than expected by the politicians are continuing to weigh on consumers confidence, and consumers are less inclined to spend on household goods. Consumers remain cautious about making major purchases, with nearly half of all respondents thinking this is a bad time to make a big decision. But they still want to party.
Theresa May’s bee in her bonnet about binge drinking makes you feel almost nostalgic for the Blair Government’s Nanny State. We have yet to see how that’s going to translate into changes in drink purchasing. Meanwhile for millions of Brits, entertaining at home already wins hands down over going out to pubs and restaurants. It makes Big Night In an even bigger business opportunity than ever for Britain’s supermarkets, Co-ops and convenience store chains, and the suppliers of treats for sharing from food and drink to snacks, sweets, chocolate and other seriously social treats.
And then there’s the ‘S’ factor. When Spring comes, the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, having people round on the spur of the moment is an even stronger impulse. As they shed the winter layers consumers get more relaxed and more inclined to grab the opportunity to relax with friends and family, including having ’Big Nights In’ outside.
As we move into spring, it’s not just the brighter weather that makes consumers want to celebrate. In the next three months there are no less than five Bank Holidays – great news for home entertaining sales. April is a glorious month, with the Easter break running from Friday 6th April-Monday 9th April. Then there’s the May Bank Holiday on Monday May 7th, and in June the Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 4th, and the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday on Monday 5th.
So the message this spring is clear:?consumers might be choosing more carefully, but they’re still treating themselves and their friends and family. Stay stocked up through April into June with treats for sharing, at attractive prices, and the consumers will keep coming back.
The Grocery Trader