Jubilee boosts supermarket trading

Supermarket sales during the week of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations increased by 12.5% year-on-year.

According to the latest data from global information and insights firm Nielsen, the seven-day period ending 2 June continued to drive up profits at the UK’s largest supermarket firms. Sales in the previous week, ending 26 May, had also risen by 5.7%.

Mike Watkins, senior manager for retailer services at Nielsen, said: “Overall, May was a month of better momentum across food retailing, with the major supermarkets issuing a deluge of cash savings and discounts, actively encouraging shoppers to visit and spend. This has been a familiar pattern over the past six months. 

“Promotional spend remains at 35% of overall basket sales at the grocery multiples and we anticipate a continuation of these trends for the next three months.”

Sainsbury’s was the latest supermarket retailer to reveal a boost from the Jubilee with an increase of 1.4% in its first-quarter like-for-like sales (LFLs).

Asda predicted shoppers would double their spend in supermarkets compared to last year’s Royal Wedding celebrations. The Walmart-owned supermarket chain expected to sell 175,000 doughnuts, 2.8 million Victoria sponges – up 52% on last year – and a 300% increase in sales of Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Tesco has yet to unveil its performance during the royal celebrations, but reported a 1.4% drop in UK LFL sales earlier this week, for its first-quarter period ended 26 May.

Waitrose achieved its highest week of trading, excluding Christmas and Easter, over the Jubilee weekend, with a 19.8% rise in sales on last year and a total turnover of £123m for the week ending 2 June.

Sales of Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, sausage rolls and Scotch eggs were up 76% each, while sales of tubes of red, white and blue icing grew a staggering 637%.

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