Tuesday 28 April 2020 8:26 am

Shoppers spend extra £524m at UK supermarkets in April

Shoppers spent an extra £524m at UK supermarkets during the coronavirus lockdown compared to April last year.

Grocery sales soared 9.1 per cent in the 12 weeks to 19 April, which were £524m higher in the past four weeks than they were in April 2019. 

Read more: Coronavirus: When are supermarket opening times for NHS and pensioners?

Households made a record low 14 trips to UK supermarkets during the lockdown but average basket sizes hit their highest level ever. 

The UK coronavirus lockdown drove a surge in online shopping, particularly among older people who are more at risk from Covid-19. Older shoppers increased their online grocery spend by 94 per cent year on year.

Shoppers also spent more at local convenience stores, which increased sales by 39 per cent in the last four weeks. Co-op sales were up 20 per cent during the 12 week period, according to the latest data from Kantar. 

All 10 of the major UK supermarkets reported rising sales, with Sainsbury’s sales outperforming the rest of the Big Four grocers with a sales jump of 8.4 per cent. 

Tesco sales increased 7.2 per cent, Morrisons sales were up 4.3 per cent and Asda sales jumped 3.5 per cent. 

Online supermarket Ocado, which was forced to close to new customers following a surge in demand, increased sales by 19.4 per cent. 

German discounters Aldi and Lidl reported sales increases of 8.8 per cent and 14.8 per cent respectively. 

Read more: Supermarket delivery slots: Which grocers offer home delivery amid UK coronavirus outbreak?

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “ People are spending more time at home and eating fewer meals out of the house, which has led to a strong growth in take-home grocery sales.  

“But social distancing also means that expenditure on other categories like clothes, food bought on the go and general merchandise will have been considerably lower, so for some retailers, the overall picture will be more modest.”