With the run up period to Christmas now in full swing evidence is emerging that food sales are holding up well this year for most of the major food retailers.
The underlying growth in sales for the out-of-town sector is an encouraging 7% over the past 12 months and a respectable 3% for the high street sector, according to ACNielsen’s Homescan analysis for TradeTrak.
Tesco has added spend and more customers in the past 12 weeks. So it’s perhaps not surprising to see Tesco and Asda are again outperforming the market and high street retailers such as Somerfield, the Co-operative Group and Iceland are showing no overall market share growth on the TradeTrak analysis.
Over the coming month shoppers will take the opportunity to stockpile a range of food and drink ready for the festive period, such wines, beers, biscuits and confectionery. They will leave their purchases of the more indulgent products, such as chilled and speciality foods, until the final weeks.
Mike Watkins, manager of retailer services at ACNielsen, says: “For Sainsbury, the remaining weeks of this year will bring new sales opportunities as it trades against Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Safeway for seasonal and high street sales.
“And at the same time it will look to increase footfall in its superstores for big trolley spends. Sainsbury still has a lot to play for.”
Safeway this week reported a drop in first half exceptional pre-tax profits from £187m to £173m. It may have more carefully chosen its promotional activity this year but has lost market share in the period September to November.
This means that once more it has fallen below its benchmark of 9% of all food sales - the first time in over six months.