Multiple and indie c-stores sales up as supermarkets falter
CHRISTMAS brought a degree of trading joy for convenience stores and good results for discounters and premium food outlets but was commercially bleak for a number of the giant grocery firms.
Figures from research company Kantar Worldpanel showed Morrisons had lower sales than in the previous year’s Christmas three-month period.
Nielsen showed both Morrisons and Tesco had lost sales when compared to the previous year.
But Kantar Worldpanel found that convenience outlets, including independents had seen sales hold up well.
The Kantar total till roll figures for the 12 weeks to 5 January showed total sales for the major grocers were up 2.9% year on year.
But among the big four companies only Sainsbury’s had shown a significant increase, up 3.1%. Asda was up 0.8%, Tesco rose by 0.2% and Morrisons fell 1%.
Once again discounter Aldi was up substantially, growing sales by 29.4%. Kantar found Lidl grew 17.5% compared to the same period the year before.
And Kantar said independents and symbols were up 3%, once again beating the performance of the multiple grocer giants. Multiple grocer c-stores in the Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local chains showed double-digit growth.
Kantar also said that pressure on household budgets was declining with grocery price inflation at 2.5% – its lowest rate since October 2012.
Looking specifically at the four weeks to 4 January, Nielsen said that year-on-year growth at the major supermarkets had been the lowest in seven years. Volume sales had fallen by 1.2%.
Its 12-week figures also had Sainsbury’s showing the best performance of the big four, up 2.1% while Asda grew 0.4%, Tesco dropped 0.6%, and Morrisons was down 2%.
It also showed Aldi and Lidl doing well – Aldi was up 32.8% and Lidl jumped 23.6%.
And Nielsen reported that consumers appeared to have embraced indulgence over the Christmas period. It found sales growth on confectionery was 8.8%. Beers, wines and spirits were up 5.3%. Crisps and snacks sales rose by 2.7% compared to the previous year. And meat, fish and poultry sales were also up 2.7%.
Morrisons own Christmas trading figures were gloomier even than the independent market researchers’ findings. The company said its like-for-like sales (which disregard sales in those stores which had opened or closed in the comparison period) for the six weeks to early January were down 5.6%.
Tesco also reported a like-for-like Christmas-period decline, saying sales were down 2.4%.