Lockdown Christmas hits: Lidl pink prosecco and takeaways

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More than six million glasses of pink prosecco were enjoyed by Lidl customers over the festive period as strict Covid rules prompted people to indulge.

The discount supermarket reported record total sales for the four weeks to 27 December with revenue up 18%.

Takeaway firm Just Eat and online fashion retailer Asos have also reported stellar sales for the period.

All three benefited as restaurants and non-essential shops faced strict curbs or were forced to close.

Demand was so strong, Lidl said it had shifted 7,000 glasses of mulled wine and almost 17,000 deluxe mince pies every hour in the run up to Christmas.

It also sold more than 2.7 million servings of panettone, the festive Italian cake.

Lidl continued to press ahead with its store expansion programme in the period, opening four new stores in December at a time when many businesses are closing down.

Boss Christian Härtnagel said: "Despite this Christmas being a difficult time for many across the country, we are pleased to have been able to help our customers enjoy themselves.

"As we look ahead to this year, we remain committed to our expansion and investment plans," he added.

Image source, Getty Images

Just Eat said delivery orders in the UK surged 58% in the last three months of 2020 compared with the same period last year.

The takeaway firm, which operates around the world, said this had been its third consecutive quarter of growth, reflecting the huge demand for takeaway food as restaurants have faced curbs and closures.

Boss Jitse Groen said the firm's progress in the UK was "particularly exciting" with demand up nearly five-fold in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Its UK sales force has also doubled compared with last year.

'Casual-wear sales up'

It was a similar story for Asos, whose sales for the four months to 31 December rose 36% to £554.1m, something it credited in part to restrictions on non-essential shops.

The fashion retailer, which also operates across Europe and the US, said its active customer base was now 24.5 million, up 1.1 million on the same period last year.

Richard Lim, head of analysts Retail Economics, said: "Lockdowns, fewer opportunities to mix socially and cancelled Christmas parties have decimated the demand for new outfits this year.

"But what consumers did spend was focused towards casual-wear and channelled online where the retailer was well position to leverage this opportunity."