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Percentage of Britons buying groceries online falls as pre-pandemic habits return, Kantar data reveals

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The shift away from online meant Ocado’s sales fell by 0.7%, its first year-on-year decline on record  (Ocado )
The shift away from online meant Ocado’s sales fell by 0.7%, its first year-on-year decline on record (Ocado )

The percentage of households buying groceries online is at its lowest level since October amid the return of pre-pandemic shopping habits, data firm Kantar said on Tuesday.

Kantar’s research showed consumers made an extra 108,000 shopping trips in the last four weeks as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions encouraged more people to venture out.

Just over 20% of the population bought groceries online in the four weeks to August 8, while the web’s share of sales stood at 13% compared with February’s peak of 15.4%.

The shift away from online meant Ocado’s sales fell by 0.7%, its first year-on-year decline on record. But Kantar said the online grocer’s sales were still 44% higher than 2019 for the fastest two-year growth in the industry.

Tesco’s market leading share stood at 27.2% in the quarter, followed by Sainsbury’s on 15.2%. Overall, grocery sales were 4% lower than a year ago, but this decline slowed to 0.5% in the past month and the figure is still 9.9% higher than 2019.

Grocery prices have been falling since April, but Kantar said the trend reversed in the past four weeks after inflation of 0.4%, equivalent to an extra £19 on the average household’s annual grocery bill.

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