August Heatwave Helps Boost UK Supermarket Sales: Nielsen
A mini-heatwave at the end of August helped boost UK supermarket sales by 2.2% in the past four weeks, research firm Nielsen has said, however retailer fortunes remained 'mixed' in the period.
Nielsen said that in the four weeks to 7 September, shoppers spent £193 million (€217 million) more than in the same period last year, with almost half of this spend taking place at discounters and high street value retailers.
Soft drink sales were up 5.1%, while frozen foods rise by 4.1% and beer, wines and spirits rose by 3.3%, according to Nielsen.
The sunnier climes also led to an increase in the sale of barbecue equipment, which was up by 127%, while suncare sales were up 26% and ice cream sales rose by 17% compared to the same period last year.
Shoppers also spent 32% more on pre-mixed alcoholic drinks, equating to an additional £5.7 million worth of spend.
According to Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, while August saw an unexpected boost, the coming weeks could see a marginal slowdown in performance.
“We anticipate a slow start to the September to December trading period, and don’t expect sales to accelerate until the end of November," he said. "For the major supermarkets, there are three challenges ahead: to grow spend per visit faster than the discounters; to encourage shoppers to visit more often for their various shopping occasions, and to roll out inspiring advertising campaigns that will help to build loyalty through to the end of the year, including the crucial month of December.
"Retailers will also need to make sure that their messages resonate with the increasingly price conscious and Brexit-conscious shoppers," he added.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.