In terms of retailer performance, Lidl (21.2 per cent) has shown the strongest growth over the last 12 weeks

British shoppers spent £1.5bn on online groceries in the last four weeks ending 27th February 2021, with the online share of grocery sales now reaching 17 per cent. This is the highest ever share for online grocery sales in the UK and a 1 per cent increase in share in just a month, reveals new data released today (9 March) by NielsenIQ.

NielsenIQ data shows that in the last four weeks ending 27 February, the number of British households shopping for their groceries online has more than doubled in the last year, reaching 41 per cent compared to 18 per cent at the same point in 2020. This is equivalent to 11.8m households and is a 132 per cent increase in sales compared to the same period last year. In contrast to this, sales at bricks and mortar stores declined by 1 per cent year on year in the last four weeks.

Total till sales for February have grown by 10.6 per cent year-on-year, the same figure from the previous four week period. However, this remains at the highest level since June 2020, when sales growth peaked at 14 per cent.

In terms of retailer performance, Lidl (21.2 per cent) has shown the strongest growth over the last 12 weeks, as the discounter continues to benefit from its Lidl Plus loyalty app. Iceland (17.5 per cent) also followed with strong sales growth, whilst Morrisons (11.7 per cent) continues to grow faster than the other ‘big four’ retailers.

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “One year on since the pandemic began in the UK, it’s evident that a lot has changed in terms of consumer shopping patterns. Online grocery has now become a permanent fixture for many UK shoppers - it is now past the ‘tipping point’ and is at the ‘sticking point’. Consumers no longer feel like they have to shop online, but do so because they prefer to, particularly now that many retailers have expanded fulfilment capacities. Even when we exit lockdown and start to return to some normality, we anticipate that online demand will continue to grow ahead of the market.”