Insights

UK Grocers Gear Up for Christmas
Article

UK Grocers Gear Up for Christmas

In the UK, sales in the grocery sector grew 3.1 percent in the four weeks ending November 28, according to The Nielsen Company, a modest showing compared to last month’s sales growth of 4.2 percent and 5.6 percent in November 2008. But with Christmas Day falling on a Friday this year, grocers are expecting a sales surge in the third week of the month, with spending estimated at £4 billion.

“People are still shopping around the major supermarkets, hunting out the best deals.  The most recent Nielsen research also suggests that family shoppers remain cautious, which may be taking the edge off current sales.  Indications are that shoppers could be holding back until the middle of December, which could result in a massive last week of trading,” said Mike Watkins, Senior Manager, Retailer Services at Nielsen.

12 Weeks % Share of Grocery Market Spend
By Retailer and Value Sales % Change
Retailer 12 w/e 11/29/08 12 w/e 11/28/09 Value Sales % Change
Tesco 27.9% 28.1% 4.6%
Asda 15.8% 16.0% 5.3%
Sainsbury 14.3% 14.4% 4.9%
Morrisons 10.6% 11.1% 8.5%
Co-op & S’field 9.3% 8.1% -8.6%
Co-op 5.9% 5.9% 4.2%
Somerfield 3.3% 2.2% -31.2%
Waitrose 3.3% 3.6% 12.7%
M&S 3.7% 3.7% 2.5%
Iceland 1.8% 1.8% 7.1%
Source: Nielsen Total Till, Nielsen Homescan