It was boom-time for supermarkets during lockdown when delivery sales were at an all-time high and they were the one of the few places that were allowed to stay open for business. But sales are slowing now with grocery sales dipping by 5.4% in the year up to the 12th of June.
People Returning To Normality After Lockdown
This can partly be attributed to people returning to their normal habits after the pandemic and returning to the office, factory and schools etc. It can also be partly attributed to the cost of living crisis, with the price of food rising much faster than wages and energy bills a big worry too.
In an article in the Irish News Emer Healy, senior retail analyst at Kantar, talks aout the drop in activity in supermarkets, saying:
“As shoppers return to pre-pandemic routines, we’re seeing people visit the grocers little and often,
“Baskets and trollies are getting smaller, with the volume of products purchased per trip declining by 10.4 per cent over the past 12 weeks.
“People are heading out to the shops more frequently though, and the number of visits to the supermarket is up 2.8 per cent over the past three months.
“And in another nod to normality, take-home alcohol sales have dropped by 13.7 per cent as people opt to get out of the house and head to their local pub instead.”
Grocery Prices Are Up 4.2% Over The Past Year
According to Kantar, grocery prices are up 4.2 per cent over the past year, an increase of 0.6 percentage points from last month, when grocery price inflation stood at 3.6 per cent.
“This points to the accelerating cost of living crisis in Northern Ireland, and people will be sticking close to those grocers which can offer the most competitive promotions in an effort to manage increasing costs,”
Of the big supermarket chains Lidl have performed better than the rest with the softest decline overall, but Tesco still has the biggest market share with 36%, and they are followed by Sainsbury`s, with the latest figures showing they have a 17% share of the market and then Asda with a 16.2% share.
Of course the smaller independent shops were the ones that were hit badly during lockdown and many of these are still not out of the woods when it comes to making themselves a profitable source of income once more. The cost of living crisis is affecting every business right across Northern Ireland.