GB grocery market: flat sales as summer remains cool

Date : 20 August 2019

In the 12 weeks to August 11th supermarket sales were flat according to new market data from Kantar. We look at the factors influencing this and key retailers' performance.  

Poor weather affects sales

Retailers are still failing to repeat the success of 2018, and the strong results generated by the hot summer. Despite the hottest day of the year falling within this period, the weather has not remained consistent in the way it did in 2018. However, this performance was an improvement on the previous 12 weeks, when sales declined 0.5%.

Ocado's leading performance continues

Ocado remains the standout performer, with growth of 12.6% boosted by a 7% increase in its shopper base and a bigger basket size.

Earlier this month Ocado completed its deal with M&S. This sees M&S acquire half of the Ocado Retail business and the cash injection will help the retailer and help it grow faster.

Discounters outperform the market

Both the two leading discounters continued to grow strongly, with Lidl performing the best.

The retailer's sales grew by 7.7%, up from 7.0% for the previous 12 weeks. It also reached a record market share of 5.9%. A combination of new store openings and growing basket size have generated this growth. Lidl is looking to continue to grow basket size with its latest campaign 'Big on the big shop'. It aims to help build Lidl's reputation as a destination for a full weekly shop, rather than just a top up.

Aldi’s growth for this period was 6.2%, a slight decline from the 6.7% seen in the previous 12 week period.

Co-op remains in growth

Co-op was the only other retailer to record growth with sales up 0.2%, a good performance considering it was one of the biggest winners a year ago. This month the retailer has launched the first stage of its business transformation programme. This involves brining new technology to support its ambitious growth strategy.

The Big Four

Although all the Big Four sales remained in decline, all except Morrisons made an improvement on the previous 12 week period.

Sainsbury’s improved the most with sales falling by -0.6%, compared to -2.3% in the previous 12 weeks. Performance was lifted by higher levels of promotion and its Price Lockdown strategy. This is the first time Sainsbury's has been the best performer in the Big Four since November 2017.

Detailed results



Retailer 12 weeks to 12th August 2018 12 weeks to 11th August 2019 Sales growth (Y-O-Y%)
Tesco 27.4% 27.0% -1.6%
Sainsbury's 15.5% 15.4% -0.6%
Asda 15.2% 14.9% -1.5%
Morrisons 10.3% 10.1% -2.7%
Aldi 7.6% 8.1% 6.2%
Co-op 6.6% 6.6% 0.2%
Lidl 5.5% 5.9% 7.7%
Waitrose 5.0% 4.9% -1.8%
Iceland 2.1% 2.1% -0.4%
Ocado 1.2% 1.4% 12.6%
Other Multiples 1.8% 1.9% 6.4%
Symbols & Independents 1.8% 1.7% -2.9%

Source: Kantar

IGD Co-op Trade Briefing 2019

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