World Cup fails to lift supermarket sales

04 July, 2014

Beer and cider sales grew 12% as the football World Cup kicked off – but failed to revive struggling supermarkets, which saw overall sales decline in the four weeks to June 21, according to Nielsen.

Consumers spent 0.6% less in UK supermarkets than they had the year before during the period, which included the build-up to and first nine days of the tournament.

Volume sales were down 1.8%.

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said: “Supermarket hopes were heavily pinned on a strong World Cup for England and a good summer to kick-start sales.

“Although the good weather played its part, and sales increased 1.9% in the opening week of the month-long tournament, the national team’s confirmed exit after just eight days was a blow to stimulating sales. Despite the 12% sales growth in beers, lagers and ciders over the four-week period, it wasn’t enough to help drive purchasing in other categories or to help lift overall supermarket sales.

“It’s debatable whether the good summer weather and the World Cup festivities – albeit without England – will be strong enough to compensate for the chipping away at overall spend coming from the underlying shift in consumers shopping more at Aldi and Lidl.”

In the 12 weeks to June 21 discounters Aldi and Lidl outperformed the market, with sales up 32% and 24% respectively, boosted by press and TV advertising.

Aldi spent £3.9 million on advertising in the four weeks to June 21, up 14% on the year before.

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