Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures. 

Grocery sales increased by just 1 per cent over the four weeks to 9 June, said market research organisation Kantar, compared to 2.9 per cent in the previous four weeks.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, claimed people were ‘being put off from popping to the shops’ due to Britain experiencing its wettest spring since 1986 and one of its dampest on record.

Damp days: Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures from Kantar

Damp days: Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures from Kantar

Damp days: Wet weather and lower inflation led to take-home supermarket sales rising at their slowest pace for two years, according to new figures from Kantar 

Footfall dipped slightly, with shoppers visiting the supermarket an average of 16.3 times per month, against 16.4 in June 2023.

The poor conditions hit demand for traditional summer products like suncare items, which Kantar revealed slumped by around 25 per cent on the same month last year.

Simultaneously, Britons were purchasing products they would not usually anticipate buying in June, like warming fresh soup, whose sales soared by almost a quarter.

However, Kantar found that the proportion of households describing their financial position as ‘comfortable’ hit 36 per cent, its highest level in two-and-a-half years.

This followed costs declining across nearly one-third of grocery categories, such as milk, butter and toilet tissues.

Grocery inflation fell for the sixteenth consecutive month to 2.1 per cent, its lowest point since October 2021, amid a continued drop in energy and fertiliser prices.

Online giant: Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online group rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June

Online giant: Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online group rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June

Online giant: Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online group rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June

While McKevitt acknowledged the cost-of-living crisis was not over, he said: ‘There are positive signs that many of us no longer feel the need to restrict our spending quite so much.’

Kantar believes the UEFA European Football Championship could bolster grocers and pubs, depending on how successful England and Scotland perform at the tournament.

It noted that the proportion of beer and lager sales on promotion had jumped by over 40 per cent during the last four weeks.

‘Retailers will be competing with fans heading out of the house to watch the football as well as with each other,’ said McKevitt. ‘Pubs especially could benefit from a boost – whether or not football comes home.’

Pubs especially could benefit from a boost – whether or not football comes home.’ 
Fraser McKevitt, Kantar

Alongside this announcement, Kantar revealed that Ocado was the fastest-growing grocer for the fourth month in a row, with sales at the online giant rising by 10.7 per cent over the 12 weeks to 9 June.

It also declared that Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket, expanded its market share by 0.6 percentage points to 27.7 per cent, its best figure since February 2022, as its revenue increased by 4.6 per cent.

In contrast, Asda’s market share declined from 13.1 per cent in the prior 12 weeks to 12.8 per cent as the company struggled with hefty competition in the discount retail sector.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Asda has traditionally pitched itself at the value end of the market, but this has become a crowded space.

‘It is losing out to German discounters Aldi and Lidl in one corner and some of the big traditional players in the other corner, including Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer, both of whom are pushing hard on the value side of things.’

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