// Brits spent more during Christmas 2020 than any other Christmas period
// Supermarkets recorded £12bn sales after handing back tax breaks
UK supermarkets have raked in £12 billion after handing back tax breaks as shoppers spent their lockdown savings during the festive period.
Shoppers spent £12 billion on food and drink in December, which is the the biggest month of grocery sales, according to estimates from Kantar.
The data also reported that Brits spent some of their lockdown savings on more expensive foods than a typical Christmas.
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The figure has surpassed the £10.9 billion record set the previous month, when restrictions were not as tight or widespread.
“We anticipate all the grocers are going to have record sales,” Kantar said.
“People wanted to enjoy themselves at home after quite a tough year, even in spite of last-minute rule changes affecting many people’s plans and headlines about chaos at the borders.”
Morrisons will be the first major supermarket to update the market on its trading, on Tuesday, a week before its listed rivals share their results.
The grocer said it expects a 7.9 per cent increase in sales for the quarter including the festive period, and an 8.3 per cent jump for the half-year, compared to the previous year.
Grocers experienced strong growth since the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March as customers were panic-buying.
Many grocers faced criticism last year for claiming business rates relief offered to all retailers to help them survive lockdown, while hundreds of thousands of non-essential stores have been forced to shut.
Supermarkets agreed to hand back almost £2 billion of Covid tax breaks, except Iceland, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and the Co-op.