Multiples enjoy large BWS sales growth during March

An early Easter drove a 12% rise in BWS value sales at the major multiples during the four weeks to March 30 (Nielsen, compared to the same period in 2012).

Overall sales were up 6.2% year-on-year, and the only category that outperformed BWS was confectionary. 
The hike in sals was also attributed to a 24% year-on-year increase in advertising spend among the 10 supermarkets tracked by Nielsen – totalling £32.9 million in the four weeks to March 30.
Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight Mike Watkins said: “Although spend on offer moved up slightly to 34% of sales with ‘business as usual’ in-store promotions, the early Easter was the key factor in the March sales uplift supported by a robust increase in advertising spend. Although all the grocery multiples benefited, Waitrose was able to surf the rising Easter tide better and longer than its competition.”
Waitrose spent £2.5 million on advertising - up 142% on the previous year. 
Watkins said: “Waitrose’s significant increase in TV and Press spend helped attract 11% more shoppers and contributed to stellar sales growths of 19.5% in the last four weeks. Sainsbury’s sales momentum [up 10.3%] and growth in market share continues, with Asda  up 6.5% and Tesco up 5.6%, growing sales in line with the overall market over Easter. Sainsbury also just inched ahead of Asda again in market share in the last four weeks, although it remains to be seen if this can be maintained over the next quarter, when trading is so volatile.”
He added: “Three macro trends are shaping the performance of food retailing in 2013: shoppers remain under financial pressure, they are shopping around more and digital shopping is on the up as consumers get better connected. The context is that almost one in five shoppers now visit a convenience store two or three times a week and half at least once a week. Many shoppers now expect to shop little and often as well as chase promotions and voucher giveaways. Coping with less disposable income and disloyalty are the new norm.”

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