Commenting on individual retailer performances, Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar, said: “Tesco, which holds over a third of the market in Northern Ireland, increased sales by 11.3% year on year. Lockdown impacted shopping patterns at the grocer as customers visited less frequently and made bigger trips each time. Shoppers picked up 20 items per shop on average, an increase of 16.9% compared with last year that added an additional £186 million to Tesco’s takings.
“Sainsbury’s performed slightly ahead of Tesco at 11.6% while Asda’s year-on-year growth improved from last month to 7.0%. As was the case at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda shoppers visited the supermarkets less frequently and it was bigger trips that helped to drive growth. Shoppers adding more items to their baskets meant an extra £42.1m spent in Sainsbury’s and £125.5m in Asda this period.
“Lidl continues to achieve double-digit growth, with sales up by 17.4%, and it gained 0.3 percentage points of market share this period to achieve 6.4% of total grocery spend. The grocer encouraged additional shoppers through its doors, something other retailers struggled to achieve, and these new customers contributed an additional £7.1m to Lidl’s overall growth this period.”
Healy added: “With Christmas just around the corner, alcohol sales have grown well ahead of the market at 31.4% in the latest 12 weeks. This represents an additional £18.5 m spent on beer, wine and cider as pubs and bars remained closed. While some shoppers stuck to their home-cooking guns in lockdown 2.0, it appears many of us have swapped cooking from scratch for convenience as sales of frozen food were up 22.9%.”