UK supermarkets poor summer & China figures

Not so super summer

UK supermarkets suffered their worst sales performance in at least two years in the month following the Brexit vote, according to the latest stats from Kantar Worldpanel [KW].

However, KW says, “analysts are blaming poor weather rather than fears about life outside the EU”.

The figures show the grocery market (including wine) declined by 1.1 per cent in the four weeks to July 17. Excluding Easter, city analysts said it was the worst month of trading for at least four years.

The KW report includes some of Nielsen’s latest data (based on a slightly different methodology to Kantar). Nielsen says the value of sales fell 2.4 per cent in the four weeks to July 16 compared with the same period a year earlier. That was the worst figure since July 2014.

This year the UK has had a cooler summer, and more rain and wind, compared with 2015, which had 35-degree days.

As in Australia, UK supermarkets are driving deflation, with the average shopping basket being 1.4 per cent cheaper than a year ago. Prices are expected to rise in the autumn, when the UK harvest has come to an end and imports increase.

Beer sales followed an interesting pattern over the three months to July 17. Sales increased during the Euro 2016 football tournament, but then went into rapid reversal after England’s early exit.

The poor early summer weather also affected beer sales, along with other barbecue favourites such as sausages, which fell by 6.3 per cent. The best and worst of the four largest UK supermarkets sales were:

  • Tesco: Sales down 0.7 per cent, market share 28.3 per cent
  • Asda: Sales down 5.6 per cent, market share 15.5 per cent

Lidl was the fastest growing chain in the UK, with sales up 12.5 per cent in the three months to July 17, taking its market share to 4.5 per cent. Aldi’s sales rose 11 per cent, taking its share to 6.2 per cent.

The posh people’s grocer, Waitrose, reported a 7.2 per cent rise in sales in the week to July 23, saying sales of Pimm’s grew 63 per cent and sparkling wine 93 per cent.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Aldi continues to increase its market share. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Aldi in has increased its market share to 10 per cent for the first time. With more stores opening and its advancement into SA and WA, the store that sells weekly specials that one doesn’t need but can’t do without looks set to continue its growth.

Custom built

I took the below table from an article in Decanter full article which took it from Chinese customs.

Chinese imports

France holds first position, and a 16 per cent increase is impressive, but more so is the Australian performance, with an increase of 41 per cent. It’s a pity the average price fell but it’s still respectable at $7.88 a litre. What isn’t clear is what kind of dollars we’re talking about. We presume it’s not Hong Kong dollars but US dollars.

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