Early autumn UK supermarket sales growths nudge up

Contact: Neil Beston, Tel: 020 3103 3959

London, Wednesday 24 October 2012 – Despite fewer voucher promotions to support footfall and the level of sales on promotions plateauing at 35%, UK retail grocery sales for the four weeks ending 13 October still improved on the rate of growth seen in the previous four weeks.

According to the latest retailer performance figures released today by global information and insights company Nielsen, aggregate sales growth for the UK’s leading supermarkets during the four weeks ending 13 October was +2.9%* higher than the same period a year ago. In the previous four weeks (ending 15 September) sales growth was 2.5%* higher year-on-year.

In contrast, unit sales (volume) slowed a little, increasing by only +0.9%* year-on-year – compared to 1.1%* year-on-year growth for the previous four weeks.

Over the last 12 weeks Sainsbury and Waitrose continued to outperform the other leading supermarkets, with both retailers gaining market share. Asda and Tesco are still growing sales faster than Morrisons, whilst Aldi and Lidl look well positioned to have another stellar performance this Christmas.

Explaining the figures, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight Mike Watkins: “Early autumn trading remains solid, if unspectacular, and the last four weeks have seen a continuation of the post-Olympic trend of positive unit growth compared to earlier in the year. However, as inflation is currently at a low point, value growths are lower compared to this time last year.

“Last week saw the start of the tactical use of money-off vouchers ahead of half term, with Asda, Tesco and Morrisons all offering a £5 discount on the next shop as they seek first-mover advantage ahead of Christmas trading. The next few weeks up until mid-November will be important in assessing the level of consumer demand this Christmas. Based on current trends, we anticipate another increase in promotional participation as both retailers and brand owners seek to kick-start seasonal purchasing. This looks like the calm before the promotional storm that lies ahead.”

* Source: Nielsen Scantrack Grocery Multiples

12-Weekly % Share of grocery market spend by retailer and value sales % change
Retailer
% share, 12 weeks
to 13 Oct 2012
% share, 12 weeks
to 15 Oct 2011
% value change vs same
12 Weeks Year Ago
TESCO
29.0%
29.3%
3.0%
ASDA
16.2%
16.4%
3.5%
SAINSBURY
15.7%
15.6%
5.2%
MORRISONS
10.7%
11.2%
-0.1%
CO-OPERATIVE
7.3%
7.5%
1.4%
WAITROSE
4.1%
4.0%
9.2%
M&S
3.4%
3.5%
3.1%
ALDI
2.7%
1.9%
49.1%
LIDL
2.0%
1.9%
9.5%
ICELAND
1.9%
1.9%
3.6%

The figures in the table are based on 12 weeks sales through to 13 October 2012 compared with the same 12 week period in 2011.  Source: Nielsen Total Till, Nielsen Homescan

About Nielsen Homescan Total Till:
Unless otherwise stated, data is based on all purchases, bar-coded and non bar-coded, brought back into the home from any outlet by an in-home scanning panel of more than 14,500 households. Total spend includes all items stocked by any outlet, including grocery, general merchandise and clothing.

About Nielsen
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.