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Short-lived sunny spell helps boost UK supermarkets

Fri, 31st May 2024 09:35

(Sharecast News) - UK supermarket sales pushed higher in May, industry data showed on Friday, boosted by a brief spell of warmer weather.

According to the latest figures from market research firm NIQ, total till sales at UK grocers rose 3.3% in the four weeks to 18 May. The figure was largely unchanged on last month's 3.4% increase.

NIQ attributed May's growth to the brief period of warm weather in the week ending 11 May, which helped push value sales to a two-month high of 5.1%. Ice cream sales jumped 55% and pre-mix alcoholic drinks by 28%.

Sales dipped slightly when the weather turned wetter, however.

Mike Watkins, UK head of retailer and business insight at NIQ, said: "The warm weather helped to move the dial in terms of shopper spending, more so than food inflation, which is expected to remain at around 3% for next few months.

"Despite this, many shoppers are still faced with limits to their discretionary spending, and this is having an impact on certain categories."

Among individual grocers, online supermarket Ocado Group reported the strongest growth in the last 12 weeks, with sales up 12.4%.

J Sainsbury reported a 6% jump in sales, while Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket, saw sales rise 5.4%.

Discounter Aldi reported sales growth of 10.4%, although that was marginally below the previous year's 10.8% improvement. Rival Lidl saw sales rise 7.7%.

Looking forward, Watkins warned that June would suffer from tough comparatives, as June 2023 was especially hot.

But sales were forecast to then likely push higher on the back of major sporting events, including the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament and Paris Olympics.

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