Supermarkets in Great Britain have experienced the busiest in-store four weeks in a more than a year as consumer confidence to head out improves, research showed on Tuesday.
Market research firm Kantar said take-home grocery sales rose 5.7% in the 12 weeks to April 18. That is up from the same period a year earlier when for part of that the first lockdown was in place and a number of people moved to online shopping and limited their trips to stores.
Year on year growth accelerated to 6.5% in the four weeks to April 18.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “There is a growing sense that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and people are becoming more comfortable with venturing out to the supermarket.”
Pubs and restaurants, for outdoor service, and non essential retailers were allowed to reopen earlier this month from the latest lockdown, helping to boost high street footfall.
Kantar said the most recent trends suggest that consumer confidence is increasing, as the successful vaccine roll out and relaxation of social restrictions have encouraged more people to visit physical stores and spend time with friends and family.
McKevitt said: “The return of wider retail and hospitality will naturally have a knock-on effect for the grocers.”
He pointed to sales of alcohol rising by just 1% in the latest four weeks, as people now have the option to go out. However, sales of sparkling wine from supermarkets surged 48% as a number of shopperslook to have toasted the easing of rules possibly in a garden or park.
Meanwhile, the number of people shopping online in the past month fell for the second time in a row. McKevitt said: “The share of groceries ordered via the internet in the most recent four weeks slipped to 13.9%, down from a peak of 15.4% in February.”