Supermarket sales growth slows as pubs and restaurants start to reopen

UK grocery sales growth has started to slow down from record highs on the back of easing lockdown restrictions, according to new figures.

Supermarket sales for the four weeks to July 12 grew by 14.6% against the same period last year, as it slowed down from 18.9% growth in June, the latest data from Kantar revealed.

Kantar’s monthly grocery market share figures revealed that sales growth slowed as the reopening of pubs and restaurants affected momentum for supermarket chains.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “As lockdown restrictions are gradually eased and non-essential retail outlets reopen, some consumers are slowly resuming their pre-Covid routines and shopping habits.

“However, we are clearly a long way off a complete return to normality.”

Morrisons was the strongest performer of the UK’s ‘big four’ grocers, as it reported a 17.4% jump in sales over the period.

Meanwhile, Tesco reported 15.1% growth, Sainsbury’s saw sales rise by 13.5%, and Asda sales grew by 11%.

Online retailer Ocado was another particularly strong performer, as sales rose by 45.5%, while the Co-op and Iceland both also saw strong demand, with sales jumping 30.6% and 34.1% respectively.

Sales from independent grocers and convenience stores also surged higher over the period.

Mr McKevitt added: “Convenience stores were a lifeline for many people in the early days of the crisis, providing essential supplies close to home.”

Online sales also swelled 92% over the past month, with growth marginally higher than last month.

Separate data from Nielsen revealed that, in the four weeks ending July 11, shoppers bought more alcoholic drinks, with sales of beers, wines and spirits up by 31%.

Meanwhile, sales of frozen food grew by 19% and meat, fish and poultry saw a 15% rise in sales as warm weather led to barbecues across the country.