Grocery sales surged by 14 per cent in last three months

Lidl is creating 120 new jobs across its operation in the north
Ryan McAleer

GROCERY sales in Northern Ireland increased by 14 per cent in the past three months, according to new analysis.

Supermarket monitor Kantar said shoppers visiting Lidl spent on average, five per cent more on each trip.

The data, which covers the 52 weeks to April 19, includes the peak ‘panic buying’ period during the early onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kantar’s managing director in Ireland, David Barry said the growth had accelerated in recent weeks, with shoppers adjusting to life under lockdown.

He said the data pointed to a three per cent increase in sales for the year to April 19 2020 in the north, with sales surging to 13.9 per cent in the last 12 weeks.

“As people prepare and eat more meals at home, they have been making additional trips to the supermarket and picking up extra items each visit,” said the Kantar boss.

“The cumulative impact of this buying ‘a little bit more’ has been the real driver behind heightened expenditure this period. Volume sales were 1.2 per cent greater than the previous 52 weeks which pushed spend up by £32.3m.”

Lidl experienced the strongest sales growth at 8.3 per cent, taking its market share to 6.2 per cent. Kantar said shoppers at the German discounter spent 4.9 per cent more on each trip than they did the year before and visited its stores 1.8 per cent more during this period”

Consumer spending in Tesco increased by 3.4 per cent over the year, while Sainsbury’s recorded a two per cent rise in the value of sales.

According to Kantar, sales at Asda actually fell 1.4 per cent over the year, but the Walmart-owned chain achieved the strongest basket-size growth of all the major retailers at 7.8 per cent.

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