Supermarket shopping behaviour moving away from stockpiling

Kantar said people in the north are increasing making smaller and more frequent trips to supermarkets.

THE latest snapshot of the north’s supermarkets suggests a gradual return to normality, with people increasingly moving away from the stockpiling of groceries that became a feature of the pandemic.

Retail analyser Kantar said grocery sales over the past 12 weeks were down 6.4 per cent down on the same period last year against the backdrop of the easing of restrictions.

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, said the data pointed to shoppers returning to some of their normal routines, eating out more and venturing back to offices.

“We saw a switch from the ‘big shop’ to smaller, more frequent trips to supermarkets as people needed to buy less to eat at home and were able to grab their groceries while they were out and about,” she said.

“Across the 12 weeks volume sales were down by 7.3 per cent year-on-year.”

The spend on alcohol also continues to fall compared to last year’s booze-filled supermarket runs.

“As the hospitality sector reopens, shoppers continue to spend less on alcohol to enjoy at home and sales fell by 26 per cent in the past 12 weeks compared with last year,” said Ms Healy.

“People are also making the most of a break from the kitchen and home cooking ingredients dropped by 15.5 per cent this period as a result.”

Tesco remains the north’s largest supermarket chain, with a 35.6 per cent share, ahead of Sainsbury (17 per cent) and Asda (16 per cent).

Lidl continues to be the sector’s fastest growing grocery chain, accelerating to a 6.8 per cent share for the year to August 8 2021, up almost 13 per cent on last year.

Meanwhile the latest analysis of high street footfall suggested numbers remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

High street monitor Springboard indicated footfall at key shopping sites across Northern Ireland during the past week was 23.5 per cent below the same period in August 2019.

Footfall for the week beginning August 15 was also 3.2 per cent down on the previous seven days.

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