Convenience shopping ramps up as lockdown continues

Shoppers made a noticeable switch to convenience store shopping for the last week of March, according to the latest Nielsen data.

The uplift in sales through impulse channels led to an increase of 11% in total off-trade sales for the week ending March 28, as shoppers turned to convenience stores for quick top-up shopping with many having stockpiled groceries in the previous weeks.  

Over the same period the category which saw the most growth in BWS was beer, which saw an increase in sales of 31%, followed by cider (24%) and wine (14%). Sparkling wine and Champagne sales both recorded a decline in sales.

Spirits sales saw a marked drop from the previous week, when sales had jumped up by a whopping 61%, and this again reflects the fact consumers had already stocked up on spirits in preparation for the lockdown period.

Gemma Cooper, senior commercial business partner for Nielsen and DRN columnist, said: "Though we see total FMCG sales in decline this week, the off-trade is reporting growth of 11%, highlighting the importance of this category for the overall grocery industry.

“Stand out categories for this week are Beer, Cider and Wine.

"Flavoured Gin which doubled its sales in the week ending March 21, 2020, is now is in decline (-16%).

“This week we are seeing the shift in overall shopper behaviour to visiting the smaller impulse/convenience stores, and this is playing through for the off-trade as performance in Impulse is an increase of 48% for the week ending March 28, 2020.

“What will be interesting is to see how this will continue to play out as shoppers potentially avoid larger supermarket stores in favour of those smaller impulse stores, which we know are so pivotal for the off-trade.”

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