Grocery spend up as other shops trail

Grocery spend up as other shops trail

Grocery spending in the Republic was up by almost 3% in the year, as the busy Christmas supermarket spending season gets underway.

The figures, which cover the latest 12 weeks through December 2, are from Kantar Worldpanel which monitors 30,000 products bought by shoppers in all types of grocers.

However, a separate survey for Visa showed that other bricks-and-mortar retailers struggled last month, as online spending surged.

At €9.86bn, grocery spending over the first 11 months of the year was up 2.8% from a year earlier, according to the Kantar survey.

That means that the five large supermarkets which account for over 88% of all the grocery spend in the Republic are heading into the key Christmas spending season in fairly good shape, despite surveys showing that the Irish consumer remains cautious.

And grocery prices in the Republic rose by an annual 1% in the latest 12 weeks, the highest growth since October 2016, said Kantar.

In the latest 12-week period, grocery shoppers spent over €2.54bn, up 2.9% from a year earlier.

And at 22.4%, Dunnes secured the largest share of that spending.

Its growth spurt helped it put some distance between SuperValu and Tesco, which secured shares of 21.7% and 21.6%, respectively.

Posting the largest growth spurt, Aldi secured a market share of 11.6%, ahead of its direct rival Lidl, on a share of 11.3% in the latest 12 weeks.

Both German discounters have increased their branded products since 2017, according to Kantar.

“The summer heatwave provided the grocery market with a solid platform for what could be a bumper festive period,” said Douglas Faughnan at Kantar.

However, Irish consumer spending increased by only 1% in November from November 2017, the weakest growth rate for more than a year, according to Visa.

Its survey by IHS Markit — which tracks all types of spending, including cash and on cards — showed that spending at brick-and-mortar stores fell 4.3% in November from 2017, while online retail spending surged 12.2%.

“The annual Black Friday sales failed to pull Irish consumers to the high street, with spending growth focused online,” said IHS Markit associate director, Andrew Harker. “This is cause for concern for bricks-and-mortar retailers in the run-up to Christmas, with only a short window to encourage shoppers back into their stores during the crucial festive period,” he said.

The Visa survey chimed with that from Kantar. Visa found spending on food and drink in November was up by an annual 3%.

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