Heatwave boosts supermarket sales as UK bought record £287m of booze during World Cup quarter-final week

Supermarkets sold £287m of alcoholic drinks in one week, more than in any other seven-day period on record outside of Christmas and Easter

Ben Chapman
Wednesday 25 July 2018 06:56 BST
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A heatwave and England’s performances at the World Cup helped propel grocery sales volumes to their fastest growth in five years, as supermarkets sold a record amount of booze, according to new data.

In the week of England’s victories against Colombia and Sweden, supermarkets sold £287m of alcoholic drinks, more than in any other week on record outside of Christmas and Easter, according to data compiled by Kantar Worldpanel. Meanwhile, almost a third of all UK households stocked up on painkilling tablets over the past month.

Sales of firelighters jumped 47 per cent and shops sold 30 per cent more burgers as customers lit up their barbecues. Sales of sun creams were boosted 38 per cent, thanks to soaring temperatures.

Separate figures from Nielsen also pointed to a World Cup boost with total grocery sales volumes rising 2.2 per cent over the latest four-week period, the strongest growth since July 2013.

John Lewis sold four times more electrical cooling products in the week to 15 July than in the week before as forecasters predicted no relief from the heat for at least two weeks.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight, said: “The past four weeks have been a strong trading period for food retailers, with volume growths the best they’ve been since July 2013.

“This is great news for retailers and manufacturers as shoppers are buying more food and drink. It’s also good news that the hot summer weather looks set to continue for the next few weeks, with the hottest days of the year (35C) expected later this week.

Three in five UK workers are sick of being stuck indoors during sunny weather

“With the summer holiday season now truly under way, retailers will be planning inspiring media campaigns supported by compelling in-store promotions, to encourage shoppers to keep spending.”

Asda saw the strongest growth of the big four supermarkets, with sales up 3.7 per cent in the quarter, the first time it has been the best performer since December 2014 and eclipsing its prospective merger partner Sainsbury’s which posted sales up 0.8 per cent.

The Co-op registered the fastest growth of all supermarkets at 6.4 per cent, helped by shoppers’ desire to maximise their enjoyment of the sunshine by picking up goods in smaller, local shops, Kantar said.

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