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UK Shoppers Start to Return To Shopping 'Little And Often', Says NielsenIQ

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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British shoppers are starting to return to pre-pandemic habits, including making 'little and often' shopping trips, new data from NielsenIQ has found.

According to NielsenIQ, grocery spend in the UK convenience channel grew by 3.3% in the four weeks to 11 September, which is ahead of the growth seen at supermarkets (+0.6%).

Shoppers are purchasing locally and more 'impulsively', NielsenIQ said, with the return of workers to offices and children to school meaning there is less need to plan ahead for a 'big shop'.

Online's share of sales remains steady at 12.4%, it added, although this is slightly down on the 13% recorded for the same period last year.

'More Impulsive Shopping Behaviour'

“UK shopping habits are shifting once again, this time towards convenience channels, as Brits return to more impulsive shopping behaviours that correspond with a return to pre-pandemic lifestyles," commented Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight.


"The warm weather in early September also helped. There remain some clouds on the horizon as rising energy costs and inflation could hit disposable incomes, whilst availability concerns could present challenges. However, grocers can still expect to look forward to a short term boost as some of the incremental spend has not yet returned to the hospitality channels, and shoppers are likely to plan in advance if household budgets are more constrained.”

Grocery Sales Up

According to NielsenIQ, total till grocery sales for the four weeks to 11 September were up 1.8% compared to the corresponding period last year.

Shoppers spent £9.8 billion (€11.43 billion) at major UK grocers duding the four-week period, which is £526 million (€613.3 million) higher than in the corresponding period in 2019.

Last week, a study by Credit Karma found that more UK shoppers now enjoyed shopping online than before the pandemic. Retail sales in the UK fell marginally in August, according to the Office of National Statistics.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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