Grocery Spending Slows In UK, Ahead Of Brexit: Nielsen
Data from research firm Nielsen has found that consumer spending in the UK grocery sector slowed for the third consecutive month in March, with sales up 1.2% in the last four-week period.
This is below the CPI rate of 1.9%, and compares to a 2.5% increase in the same period last month.
Brexit uncertainty appears to be weighing on the minds of shoppers, the retailer said, while the increased cost of living due to rises in energy and fuel prices, as well as a forthcoming increase in council tax, is also having an effect.
“The first quarter of 2019 has shown a continued slowdown in consumer spending on grocery, with the average household spend each week on groceries amounting to £71, back to the level last seen in October 2017 (excluding March 2018, where sales were stronger due to the ‘Beast from the East’ which caused people to stock up, and an early Easter)," said Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer insight.
"This means that grocery spend remains broadly unchanged in the last 18 months, despite inflation. We can see a change in shopping behaviour as well as a shift in sentiment as households shop around to make savings.”
On the retail front, Watkins said that the last few weeks have been challenging for the sector, however there "should be brighter times ahead, with Easter on the horizon bringing attractive seasonal promotions to encourage shoppers to spend more on confectionery, snacks and drinks.
"If this is accompanied by warm spring weather and more clarity over the status of Brexit, this will help to kick-start growth for the big supermarkets and boost sales in time for summer.”
© 2019 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.