Market information group TNS have predicted that Christmas week will be the busiest ever for UK supermarkets.
 
TNS Superpanel have forecast that a record GBP£3.3b (US$5.8b) will be spent on groceries in the week leading up to Christmas. This is a 17% increase on last year's spending, when Britons forked out £2.7b on their festive shopping in supermarkets.

Explaining this additional expenditure, TNS suggested that the six full shopping days in Christmas week, with supermarkets open until six pm on Christmas Eve, coupled with the fact that Christmas Eve falls on a weekend will allow more shoppers to get to the store.

With the high levels of spending during Christmas week, we are likely to see reduced spending in the weeks of the 12th and 26th December. Nonetheless, TNS say that the overall figures for grocery spending over the five weeks of Christmas will have increased by 11% over the past four years to £13.7b.

Edward Garner, communications director at TNS Superpanel, said: "Whilst there is a limit to the total amount shoppers can spend on groceries in the Christmas period, we believe there will be a 'concertina' effect with many shoppers delaying their final main grocery shopping until the week of Christmas."

"In recent years it has been the more specialist food oriented retailers such as Sainsburys and Waitrose that have particularly benefited from the final Christmas week shopping, with 'neighbourhood' outlets like Somerfield, the Co-op and local corner shops performing especially well on Christmas Eve for the last minute goods and the short-term perishables like bread and milk."