High Streets Initiative · 10 April 2018

The Beast from the East cost supermarkets millions

The Beast from the East cost UK supermarkets £22m in lost sales.

The Beast from the East snowstorms cost UK supermarkets £22m in lost sales as shoppers deserted the high street to stay warm at home.

The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks to March 25, revealed that shoppers visited stores 5 per cent less often.

Shoppers deciding not to battle the snow and ice affected the whole of the UK.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said the adverse weather played havoc with consumers usual shopping plans.

“In the run up to and during the cold snap, shoppers stockpiled groceries buying 4 per cent more items than normal, increasing the average value of a trip from £14.99 to £15.80,” he said.

“This meant overall lost sales were minimised to £22m. Warming foods and drinks were the go-to items for customers after braving the snowy weather.

“Sales of hot beverages and tinned soup grew by 8.4per cent and 27.5per cent respectively over the past month.”

Despite this Kantar revealed that grocery sales increased in value by 2.5% compared to the same period last year with an early Easter boosting demand.

“Despite average prices jumping by 35p to £1.83, Easter eggs were rolling off the shelf in March with sales up 69 per cent compared to this time last year,” McKevitt added.

“Almost 15 million shoppers picked up Easter eggs last month while the average household, tempted by promotional offers, was swayed into buying at least two Easter eggs to meet their seasonal chocolate fix.  Hot cross buns also saw a steep rise, with sales up £7.7m compared to this time last year.”

Aldi was one of the main winners growing sales by 10.7 per cent with fellow discounter Lidl clocking in year-on-year sales growth of 10.3 per cent. Tesco’s and Morrison’s sales both rose 2.4 per cent.

Waitrose recorded a 1.5 per cent sales growth; Sainsbury’s sales grew 0.6 per cent with the Co-op up 0.1 per cent. Iceland experienced a freeze however with sales falling by 0.8 per cent.

McKevitt said: “Aldi and Lidl are continuing to disrupt the market.  As the discounters proceed with the expansion of their store portfolios, over the past 12 weeks 63.5 per cent of all households visited at least one of the retailers.”

 

Snowstorms send chill down UK high street with sharp sales drop

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