Ocado and Morrisons enjoying bumper sales – and the splurge is set to carry on as Christmas arrives.
- Kantar thinks December grocery sales will top the £12bn mark this month
- Lockdown restrictions have helped supermarkets and grocers coin it in
- Morrisons and Ocado performed strongly, with online food sales rising
Shoppers spent nearly £11billion on groceries in November, marking the highest monthly amount on record, fresh data shows.
Amid the second lockdown in England, pubs, restaurants and bars were forced to shut their doors once again, triggering a surge in spending at supermarkets and independent grocers.
Among the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets, Morrisons was the top performer with sales up 13.7 per cent over the last three months, prompting its market share to rise from 10.1 per cent to 10.3 per cent. Ocado saw the biggest overall rise in sales, up over 38 per cent.
With Christmas just around the corner, experts at market researcher Kantar said grocery sales look set to top £12billion this month, which is around £1.5billion more than last year.
Internet shopping also reached another record high, with over six million households snapping up their groceries online and digital platforms accounting for 13.7 per cent of all sales.
Overall take-home sales across Britain’s grocers swelled by 13.9 per cent as eating and drinking outside the home was restricted by lockdown rules.
In the three months to 29 November, grocery sales rose 11.3 per cent to £30.8billion , marking the best performance since August.
Sales of festive products ramped up in November, with households spending 238 per cent more on Christmas lights as they decorated their homes early, while sales of turkeys were up 36 per cent on a year ago.
The early Christmas festivities, alongside limited opportunities to drink in pubs and restaurants, sent spending on booze up 33 per cent higher year-on-year last month, Kantar said.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: ‘November as a whole saw shopper frequency hit its highest level since the beginning of the pandemic, suggesting more confidence among people going into stores.
He added: ‘Many people have begun the countdown to Christmas 2020 already, using more time at home to go big on festive revelry.’
Among the biggest four supermarkets, Morrisons was the top performer last month, with sales up 13.7 per cent over the past 12 weeks and its market share increasing slightly.
Sainsbury’s, which owns Argos, saw its sales leap 10.8 per cent and held its 15.7 per cent market share steady, while Tesco and Asda’s market share slipped despite rising sales, at 27 per cent and 14.1 per cent respectively.
The figures showed Ocado enjoyed the highest sales growth of all grocers, up 38.3 per cent in the three month period and its market share increasing from 1.4 per cent to 1.7 per cent, bolstered by its deal to start selling Marks & Spencer products on its website.
Frozen food specialist Iceland enjoyed a 21 per cent rise in sales last month amid the growing popularity of freezer goods during the pandemic.
High-end supermarket Waitrose also notched up its fastest rate of growth since 2005, at 13.2 per cent.
Kantar said grocery inflation was 1.4 per cent for the 12-week period. Prices are rising fastest in markets such as canned colas, pork and sausages while falling in vegetables, bread and beef.
News Source: This is Money