Supermarket sales up, despite deflation

Kantar Worldpanel has revealed that, despite continued deflation of 1.1%, supermarket sales rose by 0.3% in the 12 weeks ending 11 September.

Growth was seen in alcohol in particular, as British consumers toasted the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic success in Rio.

As has become the norm of later, star performers during the period were Aldi, with sales during the period up 11.6% and its market share now at 6.2%. Lidl’s sales rose 9.5% and its market share reached a high for the retailer of 4.6%. Frazer McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “The discounters are helping drive industry-wide growth in own-label premium lines, with marketing campaigns moving away from showcasing only price to focus on quality. Collectively premium own-label grew by 29.5% in the discounters in this period.”

Of the big four retailers, Asda saw the largest sales fall of -5.4%; its market share stood 15.7% during the period. Despite a 0.2% decline year-on-year, Tesco enjoyed its best performance since March 2014, although its overall grocery market share fell back 0.1 percentage points to 28.1%.

Sainsbury’s sales, meanwhile fell -1.4% in the period, as the retailer continued to reduce its levels of promotional activity and roll out a simpler pricing strategy. Morrisons’ market share fell 0.3 percentage points to 10.4%, reflecting its reduced store portfolio. However, its online sales are becoming more important, with shopper numbers up 45% on last year.

For Iceland, sales grew by 6.3%, while Waitrose saw sale up 3.4% on last year, with the retailer reaching a new record market share of 5.3%. However, although its Half Price Event, boosted performance, Waitrose’s proportion of promotional sales reached a higher level than some of the traditionally more promotion-focused big four retailers.

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