UK: Sales on promotion hit “all time high”

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 30th March 2011

The proportion of grocery products sold on promotion in the UK has hit an “all time high”, according to the latest data from research firm Nielsen.

UK grocery sales witnessed a “dramatic” slowdown in March prompting the sector to employ “powerful” promotions in order to maintain sales, Nielsen claimed yesterday.

“Shoppers are responding well to powerful promotions and we are seeing 40% of all sales now on promotion – an all time high,” senior retail services manager Mike Watkins revealed.

Rising costs are being pushed along the supply chain as manufacturers pass on rising commodity and fuel expenses.

With food inflation standing at 4.5% – up from around 1% at this time last year – Nielsen said that shoppers are “really feeling the pinch”, with household budgets being placed under “considerable pressure” as a consequence.

Nevertheless, Nielsen predicted that shoppers will continue to spend on events like Mothers Day and Easter.

“We envisage that shoppers will continue to indulge in Mothers Day and Easter promotions, but will cut back in the following few weeks in order to balance their household budgets. Indeed, despite the increased spend on promotions, growths almost halved in the last four weeks to +2.0% compared to February and volume growths are flat,” Watkins said.
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