This year, we’re entering December under the strangest conditions - what can stores do to optimise for the best Christmas Sales?

December 14, 2020
Back to News

Christmas Bestsellers to promote in your store

You’ve already decorated your Covid-safe screens with tinsel and got a stack of Quality Streets by the counter – but what else can you do to optimise for Christmas Sales? Last year we wrote a handy guide to the best-selling items across the country in convenience stores 2019 – and it’s worth a read this month too.

Chocolate Sales

This year, we’re in December under the strangest circumstances – many stores are under strict Tier 3 conditions which will keep many shoppers avoiding crowds in town centres and cities. For convenience stores, this could be an advantage with extra sales from those grabbing some chocolate for the tree, or those who realise their cocktail cabinet is a little empty following the lockdown! We looked back over last year’s high selling Christmas lines and examined sales figures so far this year to get an accurate indicator of the categories and items that will do well.

One category that sees a big increase over Christmas is Stationery, up 125.1% from October to December and figures compare well against last year. In 2019, stationery sales across the estate for week 49 were £255,812 and £350,025 in 2020.

Card Sales

Greetings cards are up by 78.1% over the same period which suggests that people are buying cards, sticky tape, and gift-wrap from convenience stores. Be sure to put an extra display of tape at the till point! Garden category has seen a rise too, up 28.5%, likely to be because of wintery weather, as wild bird feed is in this category.

Chocolate sales are up by 11.78%, weekly sales in week 44 were £1,296,868 and have shot up to £1,451,435 in week 49. The higher sales for 2020 reflects the higher average basket spend we’ve been tracking throughout 2020 in our Free Covid19 Impact Report.

Alcohol Sales

Alcohol sales are up 35% in week 49 (compared with week 45). Everyone’s favourite tipple for the festive season is still Baileys. Sales across the estate over December 2019 totalled £147,560 and is also performing well so far this year, sales are up 103.8% in week 49 from week 45.

Christmas must mean Snowballs for everyone – in 2019, sales of Warninks Advocaat shot up 3818%, taking sales from just £616 in October to a high of £24,123 in December! We’re seeing the same trend this year; sales are up 379.2% in week 49 compared with week 45 – so there’s plenty of households that haven’t yet purchased their bottle.

It’s worth remembering that in recent years we have seen a spike in sales of spirits between Christmas and New Year, when people suddenly realise that they’ve under-estimated the amount they would consume over Christmas!  Make sure they don’t find empty shelves in your store.

A classic Snowball is made with 50ml of advocaat, 50ml of lemonade and a dash of lime, topped off with a maraschino cherry. It may be lunchtime, but it is Christmas… I’m off to make mine now!

Get free, direct insights
Receive weekly content as well as our monthly insights newsletter for free, direct to your email inbox.

No Thanks


NHS App with advice for those who have to isolate
Retailers React – Shelf Shortages and the Pingdemic 

Our survey amongst the Independent convenience store community across the UK last week has shown that they are being seriously impacted by the so-called “pingdemic.”

Read More
Analysis of the Euro Effect 

The excitement of the Euros has dissipated for football fans but at the end of the day, it’s all about the results… till results! Did UK convenience stores stick it in the netted shopping bag?

Read More
Summer Madness 

The Summer months are cautiously approaching -whilst Summer 2020 was spent at home, 2021 feels like it might be spent outside – this time with friends and family.

Read More
×