Back to Blog

COVID-Recovery Tracker | What an Omicron Christmas looked like

Published under COVID-Recovery Tracker
Written by John Gurd

We are, undoubtedly, in a much better place than we were last year despite the latest set-back in our journey through the pandemic:

  • Reflections on the past year have evolved from fear and dismay in 2020 to more boredom and begrudging acceptance in 2021.
  • Not where we want to be, but it’s where we are and people are becoming more inclined to roll with the punches than to be beaten down.

Following an immediate slide in consumer sentiment and optimism surrounding the discovery of Omicron and implementation of ‘Plan B’, the decline has already started to turnaround:

  • Consumer optimism fell sharply on the discovery of Omicron, levelled off, and has picked-up again during the past couple of weeks.
  • Comfort in crowds and public spaces also fell sharply in the weeks immediately before Christmas but has also picked-up now the fear of a ruined Christmas has past.
  • Initial calls for tightened restrictions have quietened as people accept this situation is ongoing.

But Omicron really did not help Christmas…

  • Visits to physical retail environments were negatively impacted as people switched to buying gifts and food online.
  • Visits to hospitality venues took a big hit with office parties and social events being quickly scaled back through fear of catching and spreading COVID.

As we close in on 100 weeks of tracking consumer sentiment throughout the pandemic I hope that my feeling of cautious optimism is justified over the coming weeks and that we as a society are becoming more resilient and accepting that we need to get on with business-as-usual.

Click here to read our full report