Tuesday 14 August 2012 8:38 pm

Discount chains lead sales jump

GROCERS enjoyed a sunny summer with sales growth almost across the board, but led by discount supermarkets, said analyst Kantar Worldpanel yesterday. Grocery sales at the UK’s main stores grew 3.9 per cent as a whole in the 12 weeks to 5 August, compared to a year earlier, reaching nearly £24bn in total. Though discounters Aldi and Lidl led the pack, with spending through their tills going up 26 per cent and 11.8 per cent respectively, the big four all saw expansion, while only The Co-operative and Farm Foods suffering a fall in sales. “It’s too early to attribute improved grocery sales to the Olympics,” said Kantar’s Fraser McKevitt. “However, the increase market growth rate coincides with the opening week of London 2012 and the better weather in July.” McKevitt highlighted the quick growth of discounters, and discount lines in conventional supermarkets, as evidence that consumers were still on the look out for bargains given their squeezed budgets. “The lowest priced own label lines, such as Tesco Everyday Value, are growing at 13 per cent while premium own label sales are falling year-on-year,” he explained.