‘Monsoon’ June hits UK supermarket sales

Last month’s ‘monsoon’ weather cost the UK supermarkets more than £120m in sales, retail analysts Nielsen have said.

Grocery market growth slowed to just 0.4% in the four weeks to 15 June, the company said, primarily due to the rainy weather in the UK, which caused consumers to purchase fewer items than they would in warmer weather.

UK Head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said that it was clear that promotions, events and the vagaries of the weather had a big impact on supermarket sales.

“The summer trading season stretches 18 weeks from the first May bank holiday to the last week in August. In the first seven weeks of summer 2019, shoppers have so far spent £350m¹ less in supermarkets. This equates to a 2.1% fall in value sales compared to the same time period last year.”

He said that consumers would now need to spend around £26 billion over the during the remaining 11 weeks to match the same level of supermarket sales as last year.

“This looks a tall order as weekly growth is currently down, and we would need a sustained heatwave through to August, as we had last summer, just for the growth at supermarkets to stand still,” he said.

The Coop saw strong sales up 1.9%, but it was Lidl and Aldi who saw the strongest, up 15.2% and 9.4% respectively, while the big four retails saw flat or slightly declining sales.

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