UK grocers set for cracking Christmas, Kantar Worldpanel

UK grocers set for cracking Christmas, Kantar Worldpanel

UK supermarket sales increased in value by 3.1% YOY for the 12 weeks to 3rd December, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Aldi reclaimed its crown as Britain’s fastest growing grocer during the latest quarter, with sales up 15.1% YOY. This placed the retailer marginally ahead of Lidl, which grew sales by 14.5%.

The biggest four grocers saw collective growth of 1.9%, making this their ninth consecutive period of increasing sales. Tesco – with sales up 2.5% compared to this time last year – was the fastest growing of the four. Despite its market share falling by 0.1 percentage points to 28.2%, it remains Britain’s most-visited retailer, welcoming 21 million households during the latest quarter. Sainsbury's boosted sales by 2% YOY, with its market share falling to 16.3%. Meanwhile, Morrisons’ market share fell to 10.6%, despite a sales boost of 1.4% YOY. Sales were also up at Asda –  (1.2%) – with market share down by 0.3 percentage points. Waitrose and Iceland both increased sales, up by 1.6% and 1.3% respectively. Co-ops sales fell by 1.5%, taking market share down 0.3 percentage points to 6%.

Although online grocery sales growth has slowed considerably to just 2.8% during the past 12 weeks, it is still likely to be a record December for the e-commerce side of things. At Ocado, sales were up by 5.2% as market share remained flat YOY at 1.3%. Meanwhile, the supermarkets are now fully focused on the critical Christmas trading season. Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar Worldpanel, says: “Christmas day falls on a Monday this year – last time that happened, in 2006, the Friday before was the most popular day for grocery shopping that year. If we see a similar pattern in 2017, Friday, 22nd December is likely to win out as the grocers enjoy not only the biggest shopping day of 2017, but the most successful ever recorded. Over Friday, 22nd and Saturday, 23rd December, we expect shoppers to part with an eye-watering £1.5 billion as they fill their trollies ahead of Christmas day.”

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