Warmer weather seems to have thawed the wallets of British consumers, as sales at grocery chains increased 6.6 percent in the four weeks ending July 11th, the best underlying growth in more than 24 months, according to new research from The Nielsen Company. The strong results were driven by sales in fresh foods, soft drinks and general merchandise, the latter showing growth in the high single digits. Unit growth also rose by 2 percent across the sector.
"Shoppers continue to respond to offers, with another all-time high for promotional spend at 33 percent of fast moving consumer goods spend in the last four weeks. As a result, all retailers are attracting new shoppers, but their loyalty and commitment are likely to be lower," said Mike Watkins, Senior Manager, Retailer Services at Nielsen.
Sainsbury shoppers increased the frequency of their visits by 6 percent in the last four weeks, while ASDA showed strong growth in grocery and general merchandise.
"The recent wet weather, combined with the start of the school holiday could make the level of improvement short-lived. However, last year was a washout both in terms of weather and sales, so we are still likely to see good year-on-year improvements from food retailers over the rest of the summer," said Watkins.
|Retailer||12 w/e 7/12/08||12 w/e 7/11/09||Value Sales % Change|
|Source: Nielsen Total Till, Nielsen Homescan|