World Cup boosts supermarket promotions

The grocery sector enjoyed record levels of promotional activity and the highest market growth in six months according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

Market growth reached 4.4% and more than a third (34.5%) of goods were sold on promotion as the major supermarkets offered aggressive promotions to take advantage of World Cup celebrations and warm weather.

The strong results come despite fears of a double-dip recession and government spending cuts.

Fraser McKevitt, retail analyst for Kantar Worldpanel, says that consumers were spending at the fastest rate since Christmas taking advantage of competitive promotions on summer items such as beer and barbeque food.

Morrisons and Sainsbury’s continue to grow their market share and outperform rivals Tesco and Asda which both lost market share.

Waitrose posted growth of 11.3%, Morrisons 6.6%, Sainsbury’s 5.3% while Tesco achieved 3.8% and Asda trailed with 3.1% against the sector average of 4.4% growth.

The Co-operative again reports the strongest growth (19.3%) as the conversion of Somerfield stores to the Co-op fascia continues.

However, the latest Nielsen Retailer Performance figures show that Tesco, the official supermarket of the England Team, gained market share in the four weeks to 11 July compared to the same period last year, benefiting from shoppers spending 4.6% more than they did in 2009.

Nielsen’s figures show a 3.2% sales increase across the grocery sector for the 12 weeks to 11 July but Mike Watkins, senior manager of retailer services warns that the growth is short term.

“The way shoppers responded to football related promotions was by being more promiscuous and by bringing forward expenditure,” he says.

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