UK Supermarkets See Best Monthly Growth Since July 2013: Nielsen
British supermarkets have just enjoyed their best month in close to five years, with sales accelerating by 5%, according to Nielsen.
The performance was the best non-seasonal growth in a four week period since July 2013, when a summer heatwave pushed 4-weekly industry growth to +6.7%.
"This growth is well ahead of inflation, indicating that despite any underlying concerns shoppers may have around balancing the monthly household budget, they are willing to spend on food and drink,” commented Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight.
“This is likely to be driven by a combination of the early May bank holiday, a royal wedding and unseasonably hot weather over the period, which encouraged shoppers to visit more often to indulge and celebrate.”
Supermarkets returned to volume growth for the period, rising by 2.1%, with categories such as alcoholic drinks (+12%), soft drinks (+13%), ice cream (+41%) and crisps and snacks (+7.5%) all being strong gains.
After a weaker than expected Easter, promotional activity was also continued at most major banners, with promotions accounting for 27% of sales during the period.
Nielsen noted that Asda was the strongest-performing supermarket banner of the Big Four over the four-week period, with a 3.3% increase in sales, followed by Morrisons (2.6%). Convenience stores also enjoyed a boost, rising by 4.3%.
“With supermarkets looking to capture a bigger share of away-from-home purchasing, we can expect many of the trends we have seen in the last few weeks to continue throughout the summer,” Watkins added. “The World Cup in June should be another chance to attract more visits and to boost shopper spend."
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.