Customer loyalty is expected to improve this Christmas as shoppers plan to stick with their usual grocer for their main festive food shop.

The proportion of shoppers planning to stick to their main supermarket has more than doubled to 17% compared to just 6% in 2012, according to exclusive research by UK coupon experts Valassis for Retail Week.

The annual pre-Christmas survey of over 1,000 consumers across the UK also revealed that eight out of 10 people are likely to shop elsewhere if attracted by a promotion. 

The study showed more than half of shoppers will shop away from their main retailer for a two for one offer and 45% will do so for coupon booklets.

Everyday low price promises would tempt 43% of shoppers while promotions such as price matching and loyalty programmes play a major part in encouraging consumers to head to a different store, attracting 39% of consumers.

The research revealed that the trend towards promotion-seeking behaviour among shoppers shows no signs of diminishing with 82% planning to use a promotional offer when carrying out their grocery shopping this Christmas.

The survey reveals this behaviour is on the increase with a quarter of people looking for promotional offers more this year than last Christmas.

The report offered positive news for the grocers as 78% of shoppers declared they have no concerns about their seasonal grocery spending and just one in five adults are worried about how much they will spend on the Christmas grocery shop this year, compared to 42% last year.  

Valassis managing director Charles D’Oyly said: “The boost in supermarket loyalty and consumer confidence should bring some festive cheer to retailers. However, despite this boost in consumer confidence, supermarkets should be wary of putting a stop to promotional activity.

“Shoppers continue to be deal hungry with different types of promotions proving appealing. Indeed, when it comes to festive food spend, promotions are often the deciding factor in which supermarket wins the battle of the big shop.”

The survey showed upmarket grocers Marks & Spencer and Waitrose will gain an extra 18% and 15% of shoppers respectively over the Christmas period compared to the rest of the year.