Major supermarkets start to show “green shoots of recovery”

The UK’s leading supermarkets have experienced two consecutive months of growth in both money taken and volume of goods sold, the first time that has happened for at least two years, according to market analysts, Nielsen.

During the four weeks to September 10, 2016, sales value rose by 0.4% on the year while sales volumes increased by 0.3%.

Nielsen also reports that, alongside these overall improvements, Tesco had its best year-on-year performance this year, with sales for the same 12 weeks down just 0.2% against the same period last year.

“With both value and volume growth most weeks since the middle of July we’re seeing the green shoots of recovery for the leading supermarkets in their battle against the discounters and price deflation,” said Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins.

“A sustained period of good weather and soaring temperatures into September also helped, as did an improved performance from Tesco, and continued good momentum at the likes of Co-op and Waitrose.”

Competition between retailers is expected to remain “intense”, however, particularly with Tesco and, soon, Morrison’s back in growth.

“There’s a lot of market share to play for up to the end of the year,” said Mr Watkins. “This is why the supermarkets need to maintain price cuts as part of a strategy to win back market share from the discounters who are expected to respond by increasing advertising spend again in the run up to Christmas.”

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