Thursday, September 20, 2018

Supermarkets have enjoyed 17 months of consecutive sales growth while Lidl remains Britain’s fastest growing supermarket, new figures show.

The latest data from market research business Kantar Worldpanel reveals that supermarket sales have increased in value by 3.1 per cent in the 12 weeks to 8 October compared to the same period last year.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Aldi and Lidl collectively added an additional £390m in sales this quarter, which accounts for half of the entire market’s overall growth this period.”

Lidl sales grew by 16 per cent compared to the same period last year while Aldi’s sales were up 13.4 per cent.

Market share increased by 0.6 per cent for both grocers, up to 5.2 per cent of the market for Lidl and 6.8 per cent for Aldi.

Morrisons was the fastest-growing among the four big supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – with sales growing by 2.8 per cent.

Mr McKevitt said: “Growing sales at Morrisons’ bricks and mortar stores were supplemented by rapid expansion on its e-commerce platform, particularly in London and the south where online sales have risen 29 per cent. Despite the growth, however, the retailer’s overall market share fell by 0.1 percentage points to 10.3 per cent.”

Meanwhile, upmarket grocer Waitrose saw sales increase by 2.3 per cent in the same period. Its market share fell by 0.1 per cent, but it still moved ahead of Lidl.

While like-for-like grocery inflation remains at 3.2 per cent, consumers could see a slowdown in prices in 2018 with the rate projected to fall below 2 per cent in the first quarter. Grocery prices have been rising since the 12 weeks to 1 January 2017.

Christmas sales have already begun in supermarkets with £69m of chocolate confectionary sold in the four weeks to 8 October, a three-fold increase on August sales. Meanwhile, there were £4m sales in mince pies in the four weeks and £1.1m was spent on Christmas puddings.

Separate figures from market research firm Nielsen shows that in the four weeks ending 7 October, the supermarkets saw overall sales revenue rise by 3.9 per cent. This was the seventh month of consecutive sales growth above 2.0 per cent.

Nielsen’s data puts Lidl’s market share at 5.1 per cent per cent and Aldi’s at 8.1 per cent for the 12 weeks to 7 October.