Franchising, retail, business
The Co-op, Aldi and Lidl are outpacing the UK’s big four supermarkets in the run-up to the crucial Christmas period, according to new data.
Co-op grew market share 4.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to 2 December while he UK’s largest supermarket chain Tesco was down 0.1 per cent and Sainsbury’s 0.2 per cent.
Discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to take chunks out of their bigger, more established rivals with 12.2 per cent and 11.2 per cent expansion of market share respectively, a report from Kantar Worldpanel found.
British supermarkets are bracing for record-breaking Christmas sales despite doom and gloom on the high street which has seen hundreds of shops close and thousands of jobs axed.
Sales of seasonal favourites jumped in November with more than one in eight households having already bought a Christmas pudding, while boxed chocolate and Brussel sprout sales have reached £292m and £18m respectively.
Shoppers have been helped by a welcome fall in grocery price inflation from 3.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent, easing the squeeze on housegold budgets.
With Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday, Saturday 22 December is set to be the busiest shopping day of the year, said Kantar’s Fraser McKevitt.
“Because of the way Christmas falls, grocers have an extra trading day this year meaning overall sales in December – up to and including Christmas Eve – could reach £10bn.
“Despite an uncertain political climate taking its toll on consumer confidence, shoppers are still willing to spend that little bit extra on more expensive goods.
“Total premium own-label lines are growing at 5.5 per cent, which could lead to record sales in this price tier of £1.1bn over the 12-week period.”
Overall supermarket sales growth slipped to its slowest pace since March 2017 as consumers made less trips to the shops than they did over the hot summer.
Black Friday – which fell on 23 November – had little impact on supermarkets but saw footfall to entertainment, toy and electrical retailers nearly double.
Westfield shopping centres continued the positive numbers into December with a bumper weekend of 827,000 visitors at its two London locations.
The 7-9 December saw 14 per cent more visitors than on the same weekend last year, owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield revealed.
The company is looking forward to an "extremely busy end to the festive period in 2018", said chief marketing officer for Europe, Myf Ryan.
Meanwhile, Marks and Spencer was named top food retailer in a survey on brand loyalty, with 57 per cent of shoppers saying they had always had a positive experience there.
Tesco was second followed by Aldi in third place, the poll by Sodexo Engage found.
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