Spain isn't the only World Cup winner independents - saw their sales leap to a three-year high during the tournament.

Indie and symbol group stores notched up 6.9% year-on-year value sales growth in the 12 weeks to 12 July the biggest increase since 2007, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

The sector was comfortably ahead of all the big four, with sales growth of 6.6% at Morri­sons, 5.3% at Sainsbury's, 3.8% at Tesco and 3.1% at Asda.

A combination of the football and warm weather had boosted sales, and consumers had made more impulse purchases, said Kantar retail analyst Fraser McKevitt. Market share also crept up from 2.2% to 2.3%, and the leading symbol groups reported strong trading figures of their own.

"We achieved our first-ever £13m sales week during this period," said Costcutter MD Nick Ivel "Our Love/Hate Football campaign, which engaged retailers and consumers, succeeded in raising awareness of our offers and driving footfall."

Value sales of Strongbow were up 104% on a previous promotion, Pringles were up 121% and First Cape was up 71%, he added.

Nisa-Today's experienced similar uplifts. "We have had great summer sales this year at Nisa," said John Sharpe, MD of central distribution trading and logistics. "This is a result of great summer promotions and, in particular, strong World Cup activity such as staggered deals on Carling, Smirnoff, Gordon's and Budweiser. These took place throughout the quarter-finals, semis and finals, and helped us achieve an 8.9% increase in sales throughout this period."

Musgrave Retail Partners GB, meanwhile, claimed its Budgens stores had gained market share in fresh produce, increasing sales in the sector by 12.7% over the past 12 weeks.

"We have seen dramatic growth in market share this summer driven by market-leading deals," said Musgrave GB MD Phil Smith. "We have used our scale to our advantage, moving to seize supply opportunities and offer unique deals on the best-quality seasonal products."

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The Final Score: World Cup a bit of a non-event for grocery (analysis; 17 July 2010)