Morrisons was the best performing of the UK's 'Big Four' retailers in the 12 weeks to 29 November, the latest market share data from Kantar has shown, as grocery sales showed their fastest rate of growth since August.
Morrisons saw sales up 13.7% in the period, compared to a 10.4% increase for market leader Tesco, a 10.8% sales rise for Sainsbury's, and a 7.7% gain for Asda.
As in past quarters, Ocado was the best performing grocer in the period, seeing sales up 38.3%, while there were also double-digit performances for Iceland (+21.0%), Lidl (+13.9%) and Waitrose (+13.2%).
According to Kantar, take-home grocery sales increased by 11.3% in the 12-week period, while the most recent four weeks saw sales up 13.9%, as out of home dining and drinking was impacted by the re-imposition of lockdowns.
“The three days before non-essential retail and hospitality closed on 5 November were especially busy, with grocery sales that week up by 17%," commented Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.
November saw shopper frequency hit its highest level since the start of the pandemic, McKevitt noted, making November "the single largest month ever for the supermarkets, with £10.9 billion spent over four weeks. December’s numbers are likely to surpass that again, and we expect spend to be close to £12 billion in the month ahead, around £1.5 billion more than last year.”
McKevitt noted that the online shopping boom continued in the period, with more than six million households buying grocery products online – the highest ever rate.
Online grocery sales reached a record high of 13.7% in the period, as best demonstrated by the performance of Ocado, which due to its partnership with Marks & Spencer, now accounts for 3% of the total chilled ready meals market, a tripling of its presence in the category.
Grocery price inflation currently stands at 1.4%, however this could be impacted by the nature of the conclusion of the Brexit process, Kantar noted.
© 2020 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