In-store grocery sales soar during pre-Christmas lockdown

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Take home grocery sales have risen by 11.3% during the 12 weeks to 29th November 2020, the fastest rate of growth since August, according to Kantar.

Take-home sales during the past four weeks increased by 13.9%, as eating and drinking out of home was restricted by the English national lockdown.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “The three days before non-essential retail and hospitality closed on 5th November were especially busy, with grocery sales that week up by 17%.”

He adds: “November as a whole saw shopper frequency hit its highest level since the beginning of the pandemic, suggesting more confidence among people going into stores.”

McKevitt said that these factors allowed November 2020 to be the “single largest month ever for supermarkets”.

Research from Kantar shows that despite inflation currently at 1.4%, consumers are hoping that this remains relatively insignificant.

Kantar said the average British household had spent a record £4,206 on groceries in 2020 so far and inflation currently stood at 1.4%. However it warned that the impact of a no-deal Brexit could mean that even moderate price increases could result in the need to balance household budgets the following year.

Online shopping had also risen, with more than six million consumers buying groceries online – the highest amount ever.

New lockdown protocols saw the share of overall market sales made online reach a record 13.7%, and Ocado growing by 38.3% in the last 12 weeks. Ocado had commenced trading of Marks & Spencer groceries on 1st September.

Iceland and Lidl also saw successful growth after a boom in sales, McKevitt said: “Just over a quarter of Iceland’s 21% growth came from the freezer aisles, with fruit, vegetables and household cleaning products also growing quickly.”

Meanwhile, Lidl reached a new record market share of 6.2%, as sales grew by 13.9%.

Co-op, Aldi, and Morrisons, saw growth of 9.8%, 7.0%, and 13.7% respectively.

Sainsbury’s share remained steady at 15.7%, with sales up by 10.8% in the latest 12 weeks. Market leader Tesco saw sales rise by 10.4% to take a 27% share (down from 27.3% a year ago), and Asda grew 7.7% to a 14.1% share (albeit down from a market share of 14.6% a year ago).

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