Retailers in the black as festive countdown begins

Tesco has urged the Mandate trade union to call off proposed strikes in two stores in the coming weeks

Retailers are prepared for their busiest week of the year as customers increase their spend and make more choices and more visits, with Kantar offering insight into whihch retailers are set to benefit the most.



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17 December 2019 | 0

Grocery retailers enjoyed increasing sales again in the 12 weeks to 1 December, according to the most recent figures from Kantar. The market grew by 2.3% during this period, slightly slower than the 2.6% registered last month but with just a short time to go before Christmas Day shoppers are expected to start stocking up, making more and bigger trips in the coming weeks.

A strong month overall for SuperValu saw it pull ahead of Tesco in the retailer rankings as growth of 1.7% took its market share to 21.6%, compared to Tesco’s 21.3%. Both retailers typically increase their shares as we get closer to the holiday period and shoppers look for familiar names and brands in preparation for the festivities. Charlotte Scott, consumer insight director at Kantar, says SuperValu’s highest share since January is largely thanks to shopper penetration, which increased this period having fallen last month. “This coincides with the retailer announcing its new loyalty scheme with Visa in November,” says Scott, “designed to appeal to existing shoppers while also attracting new customers.”

Meanwhile, Lidl’s growth rate climbed to 5.8%, which helped to lift its market share to 11.6%. The retailer’s performance has been thanks to an increase in the size of customers’ average shop as it continues to expand its ranges. The average Lidl basket this period contained 17 items, a rise of 3.9% on last year.

This month also saw Lidl announce a food waste initiative which cuts the price of chilled goods by up to 90% on their best before day. Charlotte Scott says: “Typically, chilled products like fresh produce aren’t highly promoted by retailers, with less than a fifth of all prepared fruit and veg sold on deal in the past three months. Lidl’s campaign may help it stand out from the crowd and discounts on prepared and chilled foods will likely be welcomed by shoppers as they start to prioritise convenience over the Christmas period.”

Meanwhile, Aldi remains the nation’s fastest growing retailer at 7.9%, although this is a drop back from the 9.6% it achieved last month. Its share currently stands at 12.2%, up 0.6 percentage points on last year.

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