Sales & Categories
Euros boost growth
Shop frequency is continuing to grow and basket size continuing to decrease, but neither have yet returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. Party & Celebration categories saw sales growth, as shoppers enjoyed the Euros
Sainsbury’s customers and sales
The end of the third national lockdown has allowed shoppers to return to some of their previous habits, with a resurgence of smaller, more frequent shops. Convenience store shopping continued its recovery, with customer volumes in the last quarter up 30% vs 2020. This has resulted in overall average basket size dropping (now only 21% above pre-COVID-19) and customer volumes closing in on pre-COVID-19 levels. Customers will be making more top up shops in the coming months, diverting their spend from larger weekly shops.
Categories that had to close during the pandemic are now back in strong growth. Bakery & Food Services and Kiosk & PFS are driving overall sales growth, outperforming Total Fresh & Grocery. Takeaway Hot Food had the highest % growth in the category as a result of food counters re-opening. ‘Freedom day’ and associated relaxation rules are enabling shoppers to return to more of their pre-COVID-19 shopping habits.
Total Fresh and Grocery 12 weeks to 17/07/2021 vs last year
Party & celebration categories grew as more socialising was allowed and Euros kicked off
12/06/2020-12/07/2020 vs 11/06/21-11/07/21
Delay of ‘freedom day’ and increase in COVID-19 cases contributed to a dip in consumers’ economic outlook
Customer economic outlook
In the second half of 2019, pessimism around the prospect of a no-deal Brexit weighed on economic views. The deal struck in early 2020 buoyed outlook, but this was reversed with the outbreak of COVID-19 in March and remained low throughout the year. Relaxation of restrictions from the third national lockdown and economic recovery had driven a rapid improvement in outlook, with more people feeling that the economic situation will get better than worse for the first time in 3 years. The delay of ‘freedom day’ from June and sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in July have dampened this outlook, leading to the first fall in optimism of 2021, down to 42% expecting an improvement, a decline of 13%.
I expect the general economic situation to get better/worse in the next 6 months
“I hope to go back to normality as soon as possible but the testing process and the costs associated with it need to be simpler and less expensive!” Male 45-54
Shifting travel advice and rise in COVID-19 cases has cemented plans for summer 2021 staycations
Comfort making future travel plans
July sees a slight increase in discomfort with making future bookings, driven by uncertainty around changing travel rules. Proportion of Nectar collectors comfortable travelling remains low, at only 1 in 4.
“Foreign travel’s totally no-go if quarantine applies here or there and airports involve long queues” Male 65-74
Summer travel plans
As we hit summer time, decisions for travel plans are being finalised with only 13% planning to leave the UK.
Return to Office
Home Office Happy
Working from home looks set to remain beyond relaxation of restrictions, only a third of Nectar collectors are happy to return to the office
Happiness going back into the office
A fifth are claiming that they will not return to the office in future and only around a third are happy to do so. The proportion of people looking forward to getting out of the house dropped from to 55% in July (from 63% in June) – the end of COVID-19 that many had hoped for when vaccines were rolled out has not materialised.
“I am still slightly nervous about making anything other than essential travel (including commute). I worked from home initially and would prefer to at the moment. I don’t think we can stop being vigilant yet” Female 55-64
Sentiments on returning to work
In July, fewer Nectar customers are looking forward to getting out of the house or trust their office to take appropriate safety measures