Press Release

Retailers Get Ready: Christmas supermarket sweep set for 19th December.

Research by Tableau reveals over 60 percent of consumers expected to hit stores for their Christmas Shop just one week before the big day.

Tableau: London, 11 November 2016. On average, UK shoppers will conduct their Christmas grocery shopping on Monday 19th December this year, according to findings released today by Tableau Software, a global leader in visual analytics software. The study also shows that a staggering majority (88 percent) of UK shoppers will choose to shop in-store, with about one in ten people planning to buy their groceries online.

The survey of 1,000 consumers across the UK shows that shoppers expect to spend an average of £170 on Christmas groceries alone and 79 percent feel “very confident” that they will get the stock they need in-store. With 60 percent of shoppers hitting the stores just one week before Christmas, this means there will be huge pressure on retailers and their supply chains to ensure they are equipped to meet the expected demand.

“Our research shows the clear spike in demand and confidence from UK shoppers in finding what they want in the week before Christmas,” said James Eiloart, SVP EMEA at Tableau. “The pressures of high demand and consumer expectations is both an opportunity and a balancing act for today’s retailers as they work to get the right stock on the shelves without over-estimating it.  Retailers who do it well are using data analytics to assess supply and track demand in order to achieve this perfect balance.”

The ability to analyse large quantities of data is increasingly critical for enhancing business performance. By visualising data with analytics solutions such as Tableau, businesses can quickly glean insights and react to demands, for not only certain times of the year but also specific geographies and individual stores.

“At Majestic Wine we don’t debate, we test. By doing this we can find a better way of managing our business today, rather than spend ages debating it,” John Colley, Managing Director of Majestic Wine Retail comments. “We have a test and learn culture that is driven by our data and what our customers tell us. This is especially important as we approach Christmas, we need to make sure we have the right products in the right place at the right time and by being able to respond quickly to our data we can ensure we give our customers the best experience whenever and however they shop at Majestic.”

Additional findings from the survey reveal that a third (32 percent) of consumers claim their retailer ran out of the goods they wanted last year, meaning supermarkets will have to work even harder to ensure they’re better prepared this year. Not only this, but with 88 percent of consumers choosing to shop for Christmas groceries in-store over online, retailers will need to track and assess product supply closely to ensure they meet customer demand.

“We create and distribute Coca-Cola products and 250 unique brands to over 38 million people. This means that a lot of details must be managed very carefully across teams and geographies in order to ensure our highest standard of quality service,” Kevin King, director of reporting and analytics at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated.

“We work with a large amount of data from a variety of sources, so being able to access and visualise that data across departments is crucial for our success. Our employees can spot trends, see potential issues and respond quickly.  For example, our operations team can look at their data and see increased demand of certain products in specific stores and then share that data with other departments in order to respond quickly and ensure our customers walk away with the beverage they want.  It’s a team effort to deliver our standard of customer service and this includes how we work with data.” 

Robin Bevan, Managing Director at Javelin Group, retail strategy consultants, part of Accenture Strategy says, “The retailers that will come out on top for delivering exceptional customer experiences this holiday season will be those that have mastered unlocking value from data to predict purchasing trends and deliver the hyper-personalised experiences customers expect, both online and in-store. Visual analytics can be a powerful tool, particularly during peak times, giving employees across departments an added layer of visibility, and helping them to make more informed decisions when responding to last minute stock issues, changing pricing or dealing with product returns.”

A large variety of companies use Tableau for fast, visual analytics – from independent retailers to global brands, including Coca Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated,, Groupon, Majestic Wine Retail, and Wiggle.

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