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Shoppers spend 5% less at big four supermarkets

New figures have shown that the average shopper spend-per-visit at the big four supermarkets dropped 5% year-on-year to £24 in the four weeks to 11 October.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Shoppers spend 5% less at big four supermarkets

The data released by Nielsen also shows that sales were down 1.5% in value while sales volume dropped by 1.1%.

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins said: “Despite better early autumn weather and high levels of promotional spend continuing, at 34% of sales, the big four supermarkets continue to be challenged by shoppers spending less per visit.

“Low food inflation isn’t helping, but it’s really being driven by shoppers continuing to seek value for money – although not necessarily the lowest price.”

According to Nielsen’s figures, the Co-operative and Asda were the only stores out the five largest supermarkets to see a year-on-year increase in sales over the last 12 weeks. Aside from Aldi and Lidl, Waitrose and M&S outperformed the overall market the most.

Commenting on the Co-operative’s performance, Watkins said: “The turnaround in the fortune of the Co-op continues, its market share has increased to 5.9%. A focus on ‘food to go’ categories and fresh produce, alongside store development, have contributed to shoppers visiting more frequently in recent weeks.”

During the four weeks ending 11 October 2014, the leading supermarkets spent £28.4 million on TV and press advertising, 3.6% less than a year ago. In contrast, Lidl’s spend rose by 197% to £4.9 million, to take it second only to Asda which spent £5 million.

Tesco’s TV and press advertising spend dropped 29% year-on-year to £3 million.

Watkins added: “With Christmas trading on the horizon, but little sales momentum across the Big Four and a risk of deflation by year end, it could be the catalyst for fewer but more targeted promotions.

“With falling spend-per-visit across many supermarkets, the battle to loosen consumers’ purse strings during the next eight weeks is set to be the toughest yet this year. So, alongside lower prices, inspiring advertising which differentiates brands in consumers’ eyes will be vital to make an impact.”  

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