Grocers rake in record £29.3bn Christmas sales

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grocery sales
// Grocers post record £29.3 billion in Christmas sales
// German grocers Aldi & Lidl were visited by two-thirds of households

Grocers around the UK have posted record sales of £29.3 billion over the crucial Christmas trading period, bucking the challenging conditions that plague other retailers.

According to insights firm Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending December 31, a lower inflation rate of 1.3 per cent affected overall grocery sales.

However, consumers still spent £450 million on groceries compared to the previous year in the same period.

Meanwhile, non-alcoholic beer and Christmas puddings sales climbed up by £7.6 million and £40.8 million respectively, but whole turkey sales decreased by seven per cent.

Asda had a strong online sales boost of 12 per cent, and came top among the Big 4 – its overall growth rising by 0.7 per cent.

Two-thirds of households visited German grocers Aldi or Lidl over the 12 weeks, leading to its highest-ever combined Christmas market share of 12.8 per cent.

“Despite the supermarket sector growing at 1.6 per cent – its slowest rate since March 2017 – the retailers clocked in another record-breaking Christmas as households racked up an average spend of £383 in grocery bills for the month of December,” Kantar head of retail insight Fraser McKevitt said.

“Saturday 22 December proved to be the busiest shopping day of the year: more than half of all households visited one of the grocers in a last-minute Christmas dash, with 1.7 million additional customers walking through the aisles compared to the Saturday before.

“Although the grocers achieved record sales, overall spend was actually tempered by lower inflation of 1.3 per cent – that’s less than half the level of like-for-like inflation of 3.6 per cent which was recorded in Christmas 2017.

“This slower inflation rate helped shoppers to manage their festive budgets, with 60 per cent of customers looking to make savvier decisions to make their money go further over the holidays.”

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