After Black Friday left a hole in their general merchandise sales, grocers are hoping for a Christmas present in the form of growing festive figures.

It’s a time of year when consumers often look to treat themselves and trade up – either in what ranges they buy, or what supermarket they buy them in – and food retailers will be banking on their premium own-label ranges to bring home the bacon.

According to Kantar, spending on premium lines jumped 13% in the 12 weeks ending December 4.

Aldi’s Specially Selected proposition in particular is flying, as is Morrisons’ re-launched The Best range, which registered a 35% spike in sales.

Even Asda, the big four’s wooden-spoon-holder for so long, is showing signs of revival on this front.

The Walmart-owned grocer ploughed £30m into its own brand SKUs this year and its Extra Special brand enjoyed a 15% jump in sales during the 12-week period.

It’s set to be another fiercely contested season as the grocers battle to gobble up their slice of the Christmas pudding.

Speaking of “increasingly competitive” markets, that’s exactly what Carpetright boss Wilf Walsh blamed this morning for the retailer’s fall in half-year profits and sales, but he’ll be among the industry bosses hoping for a Boxing Day boost after MPs dismissed a petition calling for shops to close on December 26.

Quote of the day 

“It’s easy to blame other people, blame market conditions, blame the weather. But if you are good at what you do and can move with changing times, you’ll be successful.” – Fortnum & Mason boss Ewan Venters on how to approach challenging times for the retail sector

Today in numbers

The drop in Carpetright’s half-year pre-tax profit to £4.1m

The amount of rewards the Co-op expects its members to cash in this Christmas to save money on their festive shop

Tomorrow’s agenda

Wednesday brings the last major financial update of the year, as electricals giant Dixons Carphone posts its interim results.

Luke Tugby, deputy news editor