Marks and Spencer has maintained its position as Britains fastest growing grocer, according to new research by NielsenIQ.
According to the data, M&S year-on-year sales increased by 12.3% in the 12 weeks to 29 January, giving it a UK grocery market share of 3.6%, 0.4% increase on the year.
The news comes as Marks and Spencer announced its strongest Christmas in years with food sales jumping by 12.4% (compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019), making it the fastest growing store-based food retailer for the festive period.
Out of the Big 4 grocers, Tesco performed the best, only reporting 0.3% sales decline, compared to Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons, which reported a 3.7%, 4.3% 6.9% decrease, respectively.
NielsenIQ also revealed overall UK sales fell 2.9% over the four weeks to 29 January 2022.
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Despite total till sales declining, online grocery sales saw a 13.1% increase, up from 11.3% in December 2021, the highest since July 2021.
“Sales during the first weeks of January are typically some of the lowest in the year and given last year’s lockdown, we are measuring against very high comparatives,” NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins said.
“However, our latest data shows a continued resilience in online grocery shopping and rising sales at convenience stores in recent weeks.”
Watkins added: “Looking ahead, we expect three headwinds to shape how we shop and what we spend over the next three months. Firstly, given the increased supermarket spend during the 2021 lockdowns, total till growths will likely decline throughout Q1 before returning to growth by Easter.
“Secondly, shoppers now have concerns about the increasing cost of living, with nearly half of all households saying that this is their most important concern at the moment, which brings with it the risk of reigning-in some discretionary spend.
“Finally, as inflation continues to bite, shoppers will look to manage their spend on grocery shopping by shopping around, which means if they can save money this way, there are likely to be more visits but smaller basket sizes made across all channels.”