NI store alcohol sales drop as customers head back to hospitality venues

NI store alcohol sales drop as customers head back to hospitality venues

Alcohol sales in Northern Ireland grocery stores have dropped over the past 12 months as customers returned to pubs and restaurants, according to retail analysts Kantar.

However, the latest figures show a surge in confectionery sales over the Halloween period.

Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, said: “The Northern Irish grocery market declined by 1.0% in the 52 weeks to 31 October 2021. This dip in sales reflects people spending more time out of their homes as COVID-19 restrictions eased throughout the year.

“Alcohol sales dropped by 4.1% this year as people made the most of new freedoms and socialised in pubs and restaurants. However, Halloween festivities were in full swing at home, with sales of confectionery growing by 5.4% over the latest period.

“Looking at the past three months specifically, sales in the Northern Irish grocery market fell by 7.6% compared with the same time in 2020. Again, we saw the impact of the return to schools and workplaces in this 12 week data which meant volume sales fell by 5.5% as people ate fewer meals in their homes and had less need to stock up their cupboards.”

Lidl is the only retailer to achieve growth over the past 52 weeks, boosting sales by 9.2%, with shoppers visiting the store 12.9% more than they did last year.

“Tesco remains the nation’s largest grocer with a 35.7% share of the market. Its customers bought more products in store and the retailer grew its portion of the market by 0.3 percentage points,” Ms Healy said.

“Sainsbury’s holds a 17.0% market share and its shoppers visited the supermarket more frequently than they did at any other retailer, contributing £80 million to its overall performance.

“Asda gained 0.1 percentage points of share this period to hold 16.0% of the market. Shoppers made two additional trips to store on average, a trend which added £34.9 million to its overall performance.”