Covid-19: Online grocery sales grow by 92% despite easing of lockdown

Online grocery sales grew 92% year-on-year in the four weeks up to 12 July 2020, increasing at a slightly faster pace than the previous four weeks despite the recent easing of lockdown restrictions.

This is according to Kantar figures published today, which showed that eCommerce now accounts for 13% of all UK grocery sales, up from 7.4% in March. This highlights the huge ramping up in online delivery capacity by supermarkets and grocers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said: “Although restrictions have eased, more than one in five households still made an online order during the last four weeks.”

The data also found that take-home grocery sales increased by 16.9% in the 12 weeks to 12 July, which is the fastest rate of growth since 1994. This meant total sales reached a record £31.6 billion during this three-month period, with consumers increasing grocery spend as a result of the closure of non-essential retail shops, bars and restaurants in the lockdown.

The analysis did find indications that consumers are gradually returning to pre-lockdown behaviours however, including travelling further distances for their grocery shop.

McKevitt commented: “As lockdown restrictions are gradually eased and non-essential retail outlets re-open, some consumers are slowly resuming their pre-Covid routines and shopping habits. This meant year-on-year supermarket sales growth decelerated in the most recent four weeks to 14.6%, down from 18.9% in June.

“However, we are clearly a long way off a complete return to normality. Footfall was still 15% lower during the past four weeks and the average spend on a supermarket trip was £25.05, 35% more than the same period last year, as most people continue to eat more meals and snacks at home.”

Kantar added that over half of consumers remain uncomfortable about visiting a pub, leading to take-home alcohol sales growing by 41% in the four weeks to 12 July.

Last week, the UK government announced that face coverings in shops and supermarkets will become mandatory in England from 24 July.

Photo credit (iStock): andresr