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Northern Ireland grocery sales rocket £60m amid pandemic

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Northern Ireland grocery sales rocket £60m amid pandemic

Northern Ireland grocery sales rocket £60m amid pandemic

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Northern Ireland grocery sales rocket £60m amid pandemic

Northern Ireland grocery sales have soared £60m in the last 12 weeks as the sector begins to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, sales increased 8.3% in the 12 weeks to March 22. Tesco, Northern Ireland’s largest retailer, enjoyed the greatest increase in market share, up by 0.4% to 35.6%. Meanwhile, Lidl posted the strongest increase in sales, with shoppers spending 7.7% more in store.

Sainsbury’s moved further ahead of Asda in terms of its market share. The former now accounts for 17.1% of the market.

“The Northern Irish grocery market is starting to feel the effect of the coronavirus pandemic,” David Berry, managing director, Ireland, at Kantar, said.

“Overall sales growth of 1.9% during the 52 weeks to 22 March 2020 is markedly higher than the 0.1% seen last month, showing how Covid-19 has altered shopper behaviour. 

“While growth over the 52 week ending period may sound relatively modest, the true impact can be seen when looking at a shorter, 12 week ending time frame.

“Sales over the 12 week period grew by 8.3% compared with the same time last year, as shoppers spent more than £800m on groceries. This represents the second highest 12 week sales number on record, and an increase of more than £60m year-on-year.

“Shoppers have understandably been keen to make sure they have good supplies of hygiene and cleaning products as they prepare to spend more time indoors.

“Sales of hand soap rose by 60% over the past 12 weeks while facial tissues and toilet roll grew by 37% and 30% respectively. Household cleaners were also up by almost a third as people sought to temper the spread of the virus and maybe to fit in some spring cleaning as well.”