Despite a record year through the tills over Christmas, 2019 saw the slowest rate of growth across December since 2015, according to the latest grocery figures released by Kantar.
Sales at Sainsbury’s fell by 0.7%, although its market share held relatively firm dipping by just 0.1 percentage points to 16.0%.
Meanwhile, Tesco sales were 1.5% lower, with its share down by 0.4 percentage points to 27.4%. Asda and Morrisons also saw sales fall by 2.2% and 2.9% respectively, with their market shares also dropping.
Grocery spend over the 12 weeks to December 29th was worth a record £29.3 billion, however, 0.2% higher than in 2018.
Lidl was the fastest growing bricks and mortar supermarket with sales up 10.3%, while Aldi, Co-op and Iceland also saw growth.
Individually, Aldi’s sales were up by 5.9%, and its market share grew by 0.4 percentage points to 7.8%. Sales of the supermarket’s Specially Selected range rose by £18 million, the highest rate among all retailer premium own label lines.
Britain’s fastest growing grocer overall was Ocado, with sales rising by 12.5%. The online retailer has now been the fastest grower since June 2019.
Co-op’s 3.0% growth was ahead of the market, and enough to increase its share by 0.2 percentage points to 6.1%. Much of its success was fuelled by chilled products, with fresh poultry sales up by 10% and convenience items like pizza up 9%.
Waitrose’s market share remained at 5.0%, unaffected by a 0.9% fall in sales, while Iceland was one of only five retailers to win market share, gaining an extra 0.1 percentage points to stand at 2.3%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said: “There was no sign of the post-election rush many had hoped for in the final weeks before Christmas, with shoppers carefully watching their budgets. In fact, many of us cut back on traditional and indulgent festive classics.”
McKevitt continued: “At the end of the decade, it’s worth remembering just how quickly Lidl and Aldi have grown. Their current combined market share of 13.7% is more than treble what they held in December 2009, an unprecedented increase over the course of ten years.”
Will Broome, CEO and Founder of retail shopping app Ubamarket, believes that despite a positive festive period for many supermarkets, it is important for retailers to personalise the shopping experience for consumers.
“After what has been a tough year for the whole of the retail industry, it is encouraging to see that the Big Three, as well as Aldi and Lidl have posted positive results for Christmas sales,” said Broome. “However, the uptake in in-store shopping is unlikely to last as we head into the New Year, and it is therefore vital that the industry revitalises the shopping experience to make it cost-effective and convenient for all.”