The average independent convenience store recorded a disappointing seasonal period performance, according to latest statistics from Kantar.
Its figures for the 12 weeks to 25 December suggest £482m was spent in independent and symbol stores.
Despite grocery prices being 14.2% higher than last year, sales values were 2.2% down, equivalent to around £314 less per store than in peak season 2021.
In supermarkets, sales values rose by 9.4%, but volumes were down by 1.4%, highlighting the trend for shoppers trading down and buying less. An “emphasis on premium own label” delivered a 13.3% rise in supermarket-branded items at the expense of major-brand grocery goods.
Local stores boosted by reduced supermarket Christmas trading hours
Grocery price inflation slowed for the second month in a row, which Kantar said “raises hopes the worst has now passed”. In further positive news, December saw the highest store footfall since before the start of the pandemic.
Supermarkets stayed focused on own label this month, with Morrisons announcing price cuts, Tesco freezing prices on more than 1,000 lines until Easter and Sainsbury’s upping its Aldi price match by 25% to 300 lines.
The FT reported supermarkets are absorbing inflationary rises, with resulting pressure on suppliers.
Anil Velgy, of Go Local Extra in Ashton-under-Lyne, said: “After Christmas people are short on budget anyway, and with supermarkets dropping prices, customers are going to the big stores rather than their local.”
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