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Ed Leahy


Cooler weather slows retail growth

Sales fail to live up to last year's sizzling start to summer despite health ranges still selling well

Cooler weather slows retail growth

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Supermarket sales failed to match last year’s heatwave shopping spree as the big four’s growth slowed in the past 12 months.

Hot weather coupled with events like the Royal Wedding drove spending across the UK last May, according to Kantar, with summery fresh produce such as berries, barbecue items and drinks all enjoying strong growth combing to push growth up to 2.7 per cent in 2018.

In 2019 the grocery market grew by a lesser 1.3 per cent on the same time last year due to cooler spring temperatures. Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar, said the success of English football teams in Europe may yet provide a boost to the retail sector however.

“This time last year we experienced the hottest May since records began and enjoyed major events like the royal wedding and FA Cup final – so we would expect this period to be challenging for all grocers when comparing year-on-year performance.  

“Growth of 1.3 per cent may appear modest when compared with last year’s 2.7 per cent, however, the sector continues to demonstrate resilience and volume sales remain unchanged from last year.  We have two European football finals with British interest, the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup to look forward to in the coming weeks and retailers will be aiming to capitalise on these events and attract more shoppers throughout summer.”

Aldi and Lidl show no signs of slowing down, reaching a combined market share of 13.8 per cent his period, now worth a collective £344million more than this time last year.

Tesco was the best performing of the big four, with a 0 per cent sales growth, buoyed by the performance of its own brand range, while Waitrose saw marginal growth of 0.1 per cent attributed to the success of its new Good Health range, which is now one of the fastest growing labels in retail.

The strongest growth outside the German discounters was Co-op, at 3.7 per cent sales increase, with the company currently undergoing a major infrastructure expansion, having just received the green light to open a new £45m depot in Bedfordshire.

Hayward comments: “Shoppers are clearly enjoying their experience in store at Co-op and have increased their number of trips by 5 per cent in the past 12 weeks.”

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