UK supermarket online sales drop despite Euro 2020 alcohol surge

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UK supermarket online grocery sales fell year over year for the first time in the four weeks leading up to July 11 as the easing of the lockdown resulted in shoppers returning to physical stores and restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes were able to trade both indoors and outdoors.

The reopening of most hospitality and non-essential stores resulted in a 2.6% year-over-year drop in online sales as 81,000 fewer people chose to buy their groceries that way only in July 2020, when the UK was in full lockdown.

Overall, grocery sales were down 5.1% year-on-year in the three months to July 11. The drop came despite a 24% increase in alcohol sales, from pre-pandemic levels, as fans celebrated the England football team’s run to the Euro 2020 tournament final and logging in to watch the games Wales and Scotland spent £ 1.2bn on feeding. Sales of crisps and snacks were also up 23% from 2019, according to the latest market share data from analysts Kantar.

Fraser McKevitt, retail manager at Kantar, said the return to the restaurant, with outside dining allowed starting April 12 and socially distanced inside meals and drinks on May 17, had a significant effect on consumer behavior in recent months.


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“It has been a huge month for British football, with major tournaments generally providing a significant boost to supermarkets. But with many fans choosing to make the most of the newfound freedoms and watch games in pubs and bars, takeout sales in the four weeks through mid-July have actually declined by 3 % compared to the previous month, ”he said. .

Digital grocery baskets also fell 8% to £ 80 for each store, the lowest since February 2020, as shoppers were able to rest after eating at home.

Waitrose was the only grocer with physical stores to record sales growth as the upscale grocer benefited from the increased willingness of consumers to shop. Aldi and Lidl regained market share, despite no increase in sales, as Co-op, Asda and Morrisons lost ground in behavior change.

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