The wettest UK June on record has had such an impact on food retailing that, despite strong sales around the Diamond Jubilee weekend, the quarter ending 23 June was the worst early summer period for year-on-year sales growth since 2005, according to figures released by Nielsen.
In comparison, sales in this four week period were up 3.3% on the previous four weeks ending 26 May, while unit sales grew by 0.3% due to shoppers buying more products at the start of the month. The latest UK retailer performance figures from the global insights and information specialist reveal that 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 23 June was just 3.8% compared to the same period a year ago.
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 added: “Although inflation is slowing – down to +3.5% in June on food – weakened consumer confidence continues to holds 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.”
The figures show that of the top four supermarkets, Asda and Sainsbury had the strongest sales growth in the last four weeks, up 7.5% and 6.2% respectively, compared to the preceding four weeks. However, discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to outperform the market with a collective 31% growth in FMCG sales in the last 12 weeks.