Sparked by the Coronation and bank holiday weekend, British supermarkets saw a 12.3% boost in total till sales during the four weeks leading up to 20 May.
That figure bettered sales from the previous reporting month by 2.6%, according to data from NIQ, formerly Nielsen. Own-label sales were the biggest driver, rising more than 14% and accounting for nearly two-thirds of all sales.
Large supermarkets did well – with physical store sales rising 13.5% – thanks to the big event. But even the smallest ones remained strong and could see further improvements in the coming months.
“We can expect to see a further lift to sales in June, particularly at convenience stores where 30% of households now say they shop at once a week or more,” Mike Watkins, NIQ’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said in a statement. “The advantage for retailers is that shopper mobility tends to increase over the summer, and with 82% of consumers buying food on the go, this is another reason to visit a store.”
Among retail chains, both discounters outperformed last year’s numbers, with Aldi’s sales jumping a full percentage point, while Lidl rose 0.6%. All of the others remained nearly level, except for Waitrose, whose sales fell by nearly a full point.
Overall, shopping occasions were up 3.8% and there was a nearly 5% increase in consumers going to stores. Supermarkets should remain wary of the economic climate.
“Inflation has been a significant drag on shopper spend, so this year, incremental sales are reliant on a short-term boost from well-activated events rather than regular promotional activity,” Watkins said. “With 27% of households saying that they buy extra or special items to celebrate an event or occasion, this will have helped many prioritise spending for the Coronation in early May.”
Shopping online also saw growth, up more than 5%.