Belfast Telegraph

British supermarkets reach two-year growth milestone

Sales are up 2.1% on this time last year and a decline was last recorded in June 2016, Kantar Worldpanel said.

British supermarkets have reached two years of consecutive growth amid booming summer sales of spirits, soft drinks and hay fever remedies, figures show.

Supermarket sales have risen for 25 consecutive periods and are up 2.1% compared with this time last year, with a decline last recorded in June 2016,  market share data from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks to June 17 show.

The promotion of wonky vegetables helped Morrisons keep the title of the fastest growing of the big four supermarkets with a sales increase of 1.9%, while Lidl saw a 33% increase in sales of branded goods.

Shoppers have already spent 6% more on spirits than the same period last year and soft drinks are up 7%.

Gin sales alone have increased by £38 million and 1.7 million litres.

Sales of hay fever remedies are up by 19% year-on-year and have been bought by 5.7 million households, reflecting Met Office predictions of record pollen levels, Kantar said.

Potential partners Asda and Sainsbury’s recorded differing performances over the past quarter.

Asda increased sales by 1.8% while Sainsbury’s sales fell by 0.2%.

Sales grew by 1.4% at Tesco although its market share decreased to 27.7% from 27.9% a year ago while Co-op recorded its strongest growth in over a year as sales increased by 2.4%.

Lidl’s 10% sales growth made it the only bricks and mortar retailer to experience double digit growth.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “After a couple of difficult years for the supermarkets this sustained period of growth is welcome news.

“The latest figures largely pre-date the soaring temperatures and new-found optimism for England’s World Cup chances but with the nation spending over half a billion more in supermarkets this period compared with last year, it suggests that summer has already arrived for many.”

Figures from analysts Nielsen show promotions around the World Cup and Father’s Day helped to drive a 1.5% increase in grocery sales over the last four weeks, especially positive figures against a heatwave a year ago which boosted growth by 4%.

Some 15% of households claimed to buy extra items for Father’s Day, compared with 19% for Mothering Sunday, making it the seventh most-celebrated event and on a par with Valentine’s Day, Nielsen said.

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