Shopper spend stalled in November 2011, despite the supermarkets’ continuing lure of price cuts, money-off vouchers, fuel discounts and promotions, new data from Nielsen reveals.
And, the proportion of goods on offer in UK stores is back up to 37% (from 35%) by value, but there has been no associated uplift in sales, said the company.
Headline value growth at the UK’s grocery multiples slowed further to +2.2% (from +2.7%) in the four weeks to 26 November 2011, due to slowing shop price inflation and consumer caution, with unit growth slowing to -2.0% (from -1.9 %), according to the latest retailer performance figures released this afternoon by Nielsen.
Nielsen senior manager for retailer services, Mike Watkins, said: “The last week of November is typically a strong week for supermarkets, but this year the growth trend is different. Shoppers are generally not only delaying spend until December, they are also buying less.
“However, discount retailers are set for their best ever Christmas, with stronger signs of underlying growth than those experienced at the start of the 2008/9 recession.
“At Aldi, Lidl and Iceland, shoppers are visiting more often and spending more heavily. Aldi in particular has attracted 20% more shoppers compared to this time last year.”
Of the major supermarkets, Asda has the best momentum at the moment and is looking good for continued strong sales growths in December following its integration of Netto, said Nielsen.
Morrisons is also well positioned for another good Christmas, having recently outspent its rivals on TV and press advertising.
Nielsen commercial director, Nigel Birch, said: “Taking a snapshot of the week ending 19 November 2011, Morrisons was the lead TV and press advertiser in the week with an ad spend of £2.44m, followed by Sainsbury’s (£2.09m) and Asda (£1.99m). Aldi’s sudden increase in spend to £1.35m took it above Tesco at £1.31m.”