The wettest UK June on record has had such an impact on food retailing that, despite the very strong sales around the Jubilee weekend (June 2-5), the quarter ending June 23 was the worst early summer period for year-on-year sales growth since 2005, according to the latest UK retailer performance figures released by global information and insights company Nielsen.
Despite +12.5% year-on-year growth in the week leading up to the Jubilee, sales growth at the UK’s leading supermarkets across the four weeks ending June 23 was just +3.8% compared to the same period a year ago, reveals Nielsen.
In comparison, sales in this four week period were up +3.3%* on the previous four weeks ending May 26, while unit sales grew by +0.3% due to shoppers buying more products at the start of the month.
Nielsen senior manager for retailer services Mike Watkins said: “The ‘Summer of Events’ including the Jubilee, the Euro 2012 football and the London 2012 build-up, couldn’t prevent the poorest early summer period of sales growth since 2005. There was no sustainable uplift in food sales during June despite these events and promotional discount activity being maintained at 35% of FMCG sales.”
Watkins explains: “Although inflation is slowing – down to +3.5% in June on food - weakened consumer confidence continues to hold back spend. However, we have seen some good sales growths in the ‘sharing’ categories of Beers, Wines, Spirits and Crisps and Snacks, with households entertaining at home – perhaps driven more by the Jubilee and Euros than by the weather.”
When looking at the individual grocery retailers, Watkins notes: "Among the top four supermarkets, Asda and Sainsbury had the strongest sales growth in the past four weeks, +7.5% and +6.2% respectively, compared to the preceding four weeks. However, it’s still the discounters of Aldi and Lidl who are outperforming the market with a collective +31% growth in FMCG sales in the past 12 weeks."