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UK Supermarket Sales 'Encouraging', Says Nielsen

Published on Jun 1 2016 10:44 AM in Retail tagged: Discounters / Nielsen / Big Four / UK Supermarkets

UK Supermarket Sales 'Encouraging', Says Nielsen

UK supermarket sales were down 0.1% in the four weeks ending 21 May 2016, the most encouraging results in eight months, according to Nielsen.

The latest retail performance data from Nielsen shows the best four-week performance since the period ending 12 September 2015, excluding an Easter-inflated period. Volume remained flat at 0%.

“These are the most encouraging figures for the supermarkets for quite some time, driven by the fortnight up to the 14 May when good weather helped value growths return to positive territory of 2.1 per cent,” says Mike Watkins. Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight.

“However, it does show how reliant they are on the weather for weekly growth, particularly with deflation continuing to drive food prices down. Nevertheless, the underlying sales trend is slowly improving and the supermarkets should return to sustainable, albeit low, positive growth later in the summer.

"With the proportion of shoppers switching to cheaper grocery brands to save money at a lowest-ever level, this indicates that initiatives to reduce prices permanently and run less promotions is resonating well with shoppers,” he added.

Meanwhile the UK Big Four (Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrsions) all saw a decline in sales in the 12-week period ending 21 May. Asda took the biggest hit, dropping 5.6%.

The discounters, meanwhile, continued to improve with Aldi increasing its sales (+14.2%) and market share (+0.8%) and Lidl with similar success (sales +13.2%, market share +0.5%). The Co-operative also improved on last year's performance, increasing its sales by 2.4%.

"[The Co-operative] continue to attract new shoppers and, despite the deflationary environment, are seeing them spend more per visit – the complete opposite to what’s happening among the Big Four,” added Watkins.

© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by John Golden. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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