Grocers enjoy bumper Christmas, Kantar Worldpanel

Grocers enjoy bumper Christmas, Kantar Worldpanel

The average UK household spent a record £1,054 on groceries during the 12 weeks to 31st December, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Overall supermarket sales increased in value by 3.8%, with an additional £1 billion ringing through the tills compared to the same festive period last year. Shoppers parted with £747 million on 22nd December alone, making the Friday before Christmas the busiest shopping day ever recorded. For most of the year, location tends to be the most important factor in choosing where to shop, but over Christmas customers are actually prepared to travel further in search of specific festive products or better value.”

Aldi and Lidl are level pegging in the battle to be the nation’s fastest growing supermarket, both growing sales by 16.8% YOY. Tesco was the fastest growing of the big four, with sales up 3.1% during the past 12 weeks. This is the fastest sales growth the retailer has seen since June, helped by a 6.4% increase in sales of standard Tesco own label. With Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year, Tesco Express, like other convenience stores, benefitted from restricted Sunday opening hours for larger supermarkets and were able to capitalise on consumers preferring to shop closer to home immediately before the big day.  

Elsewhere, Asda’s sales grew by 2.2%, helped by a strong online performance which saw its average shopping basket increase to just over 16 items. And Morrisons reported a rise of 2.1%. Sainsbury’s boosted sales across its convenience stores, larger supermarkets and online deliveries, growing overall by 2%. This is against the backdrop of the retailer’s continuing strategy of moving away from promotions, selling 5.6% fewer items on offer than during the same period last year. 

Overall online supermarket sales enjoyed their biggest ever Christmas, up 4.9% YOY. Ocado comfortably outpaced the online sector, increasing sales by 8.4% to account for 1.3% of the grocery market.

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