Contact: Neil Beston, Tel: 020 3103 3959
London, Fri 13 April 2012 – The unseasonably warm March, coupled with Mother’s Day and Easter preparations led to an improvement in sales growths at UK grocery retailers last month, according to the latest retailer performance figures released this afternoon by information and insights firm Nielsen.
Headline value YoY growth at the UK’s grocery multiples for the four weeks to 31 March 2012 was +4.1% (up from 2.3% YoY growth for February). Unit growths were still down however at -1.5% (from -1.4% for February) as shoppers maintain a grip on overall spend.
Asda, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose continue to outperform the market, as they have done consistently since the end of 2011.
“Shoppers are still looking to get the best value for money for their weekly groceries,” explains Nielsen senior manager for retailer services Mike Watkins, “but they were also prepared to indulge in affordable treats. There were strong performances last month in Crisps & Snacks (+7%), Soft Drinks (+6%) and particularly Confectionery (+18%).”
However, shopper spend remains volatile. Watkins again: “While shoppers were prepared to spend on events and seasonal treats early in March, they returned to economising towards the end. The impact of falling disposable income and recent increases in fuel prices is reflected in the negative unit growths, which are continuing at similarly low level to those experienced last year.”
“Looking at the coming four-week period, it’s likely to be tougher for supermarkets to live up to last year’s April performance; that was then boosted by a combination of a late Easter, the Royal Wedding and a warm month. But from the end of this May, the 2012 ‘Year of Events’ will commence and we anticipate a progressive and sustained sales build though to August.”
|12-Weekly % Share of grocery market spend by retailer and value sales % change|
|Retailer||% share, 12 weeks to 2 Apr 2011||% share, 12 weeks to 31 Mar 2012||% value change vs same 12 Weeks Year Ago|
|MARKS AND SPENCER||3.6||3.5||2.8|
About Nielsen Homescan Total Till:
Unless otherwise stated, data is based on all purchases, bar-coded and non bar-coded, brought back into the home from any outlet by an in-home scanning panel of more than 14,500 households. Total spend includes all items stocked by any outlet, including grocery, general merchandise and clothing.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.