GB market growth stabilises

Date : 10 November 2020

Lucy Ingram

Retail Analyst

Market growth in the 12 weeks to November 1st slowed slightly to 9.3%, from 9.4% in the previous reporting period, according to the latest Kantar results. We look at key retailers' sales growth and market share in more detail, including standout performances from Iceland, Lidl, Morrisons and Waitrose, who all grew above the market.

Panic buying has not returned to levels seen before the first lockdown

Despite the impending second lockdown, panic buying did not return in this period, with growth only marginally increasing in the four weeks leading to 1st November to 9.4%. However, our latest ShopperVista research shows this may now be starting to change. Research conducted over the weekend 6-8th November has revealed that 52% of shoppers claimed to have stockpiled or bought extra recently. This has increased from last Wednesday and Thursday when less than half of shoppers (45%) claimed to have stockpiled.

The next Kantar results announced on the 8th December will give a clearer picture of how the second lockdown has impacted spend.

Ocado retained its top spot as the fastest growing retailer

Ocado remained the fastest growing retailer for the sixth month in a row, with sales of +36.1%. The retailer continues to invest in new technology to improve its service, with its latest acquisition of two US robotic companies, Kindred Systems and Haddington Dynamics, who will help enhance the retailer's robotic picking capabilities.

Waitrose grew market share for the first time since 2017

Waitrose saw great results this period, growing ahead of the market, with sales +10.6%. The retailer's market share also rose for the first time since 2017 to 5.1%. This is likely to be driven by Ocado shoppers switching to the retailer following the ending of their partnership.

If you are looking for more insight on Waitrose, see the latest news here;

Mixed performance from the discounters

Lidl continued to be the strongest performer of the discounters; it was one of only three retailers (Iceland, Lidl and Waitrose) to see an increase in sales compared to the previous reporting period. Sales grew 12.5%, from +11.7% in October. It also maintained a stable market share of 6.1%.

Aldi saw a slow rate of growth, with sales +6.6%, compared to +7.8% in the previous reporting period. Its share also dipped to 7.8% from 8% in October. During this period Aldi opened its 900th store and extended its click and collect trial to over 200 stores

Three of the Big Four grew market share

Positive performance continued at the Big Four, with Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons all seeing an increase in market share from the last reporting period. Morrisons grew its share for the fifth month in a row to 10.2%.

Sainsbury’s saw the biggest increase in sales, to +15.3%, from +14.9% in October. During this time the retailer announced strong H1 growth and major strategy update including a drive towards lower prices, rebalancing its convenience strategy and permanently closing all fresh food counters. 

Iceland continues to grow faster than the market

Iceland once again saw a strong performance in this period, with sales +17.9%. It has grown its market share to 2.3%, compared to 2.1% last year.

The average spend per trip at Iceland was up 44% since 2019, more than any other retailer. This was driven not only by the increasing demand for frozen food, but also other categories such as chilled, where the retailer has seen strong performance.

This year's winter brings a different celebratory season

This 12 week period included Halloween, which saw retailers implement new strategies to allow celebrations to take place in a COVID-safe way. Subscribers can find out more in our Halloween 2020 report. 

Following the launch of the first festive ads of 2020 at the beginning of November shoppers will now be starting to think more about Christmas.

For subscribers looking for insight on the golden quarter, see our UK Retail and Shopper Trends Q4 2020. We look at retailer performance and shopper confidence ahead of the Christmas peak, and consider the implications the pandemic will have on shopper behaviour and retailers’ priorities over the festive season. We also revisit Christmas 2019 and share analyst viewpoints of how the channels will perform differently this year.

Tesco has also shared its predictions for an "unprecedented Christmas" in its annual Christmas report, predicting the scratch cooking trend of 2020 will continue into the festive season, and that a traditional Christmas will be more important than ever before.

Detailed results

Retailer 12 weeks to 3rd November 2019 12 weeks to 1st October 2020 Sales growth (Y-O-Y%)
Tesco 27.0% 27.0% 9.1%
Sainsbury's 15.6% 15.3% 77.6%
Asda 14.9% 14.4% 5.0%
Morrisons 10.0% 10.2% 11.4%
Aldi 8.0% 7.8% 6.6%
Co-op 6.5% 6.4% 8.6%
Lidl 5.9% 6.1% 12.5%
Waitrose 5.0% 5.1% 10.6%
Iceland 2.1% 2.3% 17.9%
Ocado 1.4% 1.7% 36.1%
Other Multiples 1.8% 1.9% 15.1%
Symbols & Independents 1.8% 1.9% 15.6%

Source: Kantar

Looking for more insight?

Subscribers can see the latest short terms like-for-like sales in our UK results tracker.

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