UK supermarkets endure worst Christmas since 2014
British food retailer Morrisons has suffered the most during British supermarkets’ worst Christmas since 2014, due to stiff competition and “sustained consumer uncertainty” which shoppers.
Research companies, Nielsen and Kantar, released a report showing Britain’s big four supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons, have suffered sales declines in the 12 weeks to the end of December. German discounters Aldi and Lidl also suffered during the holiday season, according to Reuters.
Nielsen said reported that the groceries’ total sales over the four weeks to December 28 period rose just 0.5% from last year. The company said this is the lowest sales growth over the Christmas period in the last five years. Shoppers shop for less items despite visiting supermarkets more often.
“There was no sign of the post-election rush many had hoped for in the final weeks before Christmas, with shoppers carefully watching their budgets,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar. said.
He said that shoppers spent less on the usual Christmas products, with sales of Christmas puddings down 16%, sparkling wine sales down 8% and turkey sales down 1%. Morrisons’ underlying sales, without fuel and sales tax, fell 1.7% in the 22 weeks to 5 January.
“Throughout (the period), trading conditions remained challenging and the customer uncertainty of the last year persisted. The market was also highly promotional (and) collectively more competitive, especially in areas such as beers, wines and spirits, fuel and in-store coupons,” chief executive David Potts told reporters.
Potts added that the grocery market will have uncertainty until Britain’s exit from the EU becomes clearer, Reuters reported.