Author Felicity Anderson

UK grocery shoppers are gearing up for the two busiest shopping days ever recorded, according to recent data from market intelligence company Kantar Worldpanel.

With Christmas falling on a Monday this year, the panel predicts that Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd December will see supermarket shoppers purchase a staggering £1.5 billion worth of festive gifts and treats over the two days.

The data reveals that grocery price inflation of 3.6 percent, the highest it’s been since 2013, hasn’t slowed shoppers down in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with supermarket festive sales growing for the ninth consecutive year.

Compared with the same period last year there’s been an increase in overall sales of over 3 percent, with consumers taste for premium festive tipples helping to boost the figures.

Alcohol sales are up by nearly £172m, compared to the same period 12 months ago, mainly the result of shoppers opting for pricier options in the drinks aisles, and purchasing higher volumes of gin, whisky and sparkling wine, according to The Independent.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said that despite goods becoming more expensive in supermarkets, the data highlights that “the British public is well into the swing of festive shopping”.

Aldi named the fasted growing supermarket

The popularity of German discount retailers shows no signs of slowing down and Aldi has emerged as Britain’s fastest-growing supermarket during the quarter, with sales up 15.1 percent on the same time last year.

The panel notes that Aldi’ convenience products, such as ready meals and desserts have proved especially popular among consumers with numbers soaring by 40 percent year-on-year.

Rival, Lidl, meanwhile, boasted an impressive growth of 14.5 percent.

The UK’s four biggest grocers, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda saw collective growth of 1.9 percent during the quarter making this the ninth consecutive period of increasing sales for the UK’s largest retailers, reports This is Money.

“Tesco sales increased 2.5 percent compared to the same period last year, making it the fastest growing of the Big Four, despite its market share falling by 0.1 percentage points to 28.2 percent.

Waitrose and Iceland both increased sales, up by 1.6% and 1.3% respectively.  Co-op’s sales fell by 1.5%, taking market share down 0.3 percentage points to 6.0%.

Tesco has also been found to remain Britain’s most-visited retailer – welcoming 21 million households during the period.”

Christmas comes early for supermarket sales

A record December for online supermarket shopping

Online supermarket sales growth has reportedly slowed down to just 2.8 percent in the last 12 weeks, however, the panel believes that it’s still likely to be a record December for grocery e-commerce.

Internet specialist Ocado grew sales by 5.2 percent in the 12 weeks to 3 December. Its market share remained flat year on year at 1.3 percent.

“The most successful shopping days ever recorded”

Mr McKevitt said that the timing of Christmas, falling on a Monday, would likely help to boost supermarket sales.

“Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year – last time that happened, in 2006, the Friday before was the most popular day for grocery shopping that year.  If we see a similar pattern in 2017, Friday 22 December is likely to win out as the grocers enjoy not only the biggest shopping day of 2017, but the most successful ever recorded,” reports The Telegraph.