Supermarkets see fastest pace of sales growth in 15 years

Sales of take-home grocery items rose by more than a quarter, according to Kantar

Supervalu saw the highest growth of 32.7 per cent and the smallest growth recorded in Dunnes Stores of 18 per cent. Photograph: iStock

Supervalu saw the highest growth of 32.7 per cent and the smallest growth recorded in Dunnes Stores of 18 per cent. Photograph: iStock

 

Shoppers spent €52.8 million on groceries last Friday alone, in the run-up to the May bank holiday weekend, according to data from Kantar which details spending in the 12 weeks to May 17th.

Over the last four weeks of the survey alcohol sales rose 93 per cent, while shoppers spent an extra €3.8 million on sausages and burgers and an extra €5.9 million on ice-creams compared to the equivalent four-week period last year.

Grocery retailers – one of the few retail sectors to remain open in the State during the coronavirus lockdown – grew sales by more than a quarter, the fastest pace of growth in the past 15 years. Sales of take-home grocery items, as opposed to on-the-go meals, drinks and snacks, rose by 25.4 per cent in period, the data shows.

With many forced to stay at home during the period in this survey, online grocery sales grew by 76 per cent compared to a year ago with 15 per cent of Irish households receiving at least one delivery.

An additional 26,000 retired households ordered an online delivery in the period and over-65s spent an extra €8.9 million online.

“The jump in grocery sales over the most recent three-months in large part reflects the fact that it includes both the pre-lockdown surge in shopper spend and the eight weeks of stay-at-home advice from Government, bringing almost all meals into the home,” said Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar.

“While the growth of take-home grocery sales is strong, the overall picture for some supermarkets will be less positive as these gains are offset by falling spend on on-the-go meals, drinks and snacks.”

In the 12 weeks, SuperValu retained its position as the retailer with the largest market share, holding 22.4 per cent. Dunnes Stores had 21 per cent and Tesco had 21.8 per cent. Aldi and Lidl, meanwhile, had a market share of 11.7 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

Dramatic growth

The period saw a dramatic growth in the value of sales, with SuperValu seeing the highest growth of 32.7 per cent and the smallest growth recorded in Dunnes Stores of 18 per cent. “This was slightly behind the market, linked partly to Dunnes not having a direct online grocery offer,” Ms Healy said. Nevertheless, shoppers spent an extra €10.39 per trip to Dunnes Stores compared with last year.

Tesco also recorded strong sales growth in the period. Its typically larger stores allowed the grocer to grow by 23.7 per cent.

Kantar noted that Lidl benefited from its Dublin stronghold to boost sales by 30.5 per cent while Aldi performed strongest in the south of the country, growing overall sales by 20.8 per cent.

Also of note was the fact that shoppers stocked up on haircare products as salons remained closed. “Sales of haircare products and hair colourants were up 25 per cent and 73 per cent,” Ms Healy said.

Inflation in the sector ran at 2.3 per cent in the 12-week period. That figure is based on a comparison of more than 30,000 identical products.

Kantar monitors the household grocery purchasing habits of 5,000 demographically representative households in the Republic.