Tesco was named the most effective main grocery store performer within the run-up to Christmas as buyers splashed out an additional £1bn throughout the sector, in keeping with new figures.
Business knowledge from Kantar Worldpanel confirmed gross sales at Tesco rose by three.1% within the 12 weeks to 31 December, nicely forward of “large 4” rivals Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons at about 2% every.
However separate numbers from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) highlighted the starkly totally different image for non-food shops, which noticed their worst fall since 2009.
Squeezed households have needed to handle their budgets over a interval when grocery inflation climbed to three.7%, in keeping with the Kantar knowledge.
Quick-growing discounters Aldi and Lidl had been the most important winners over the interval, with gross sales up at every by 16.eight%.
General gross sales for the sector rose three.eight% to £28.9bn in comparison with final yr.
Tesco – which can report its personal figures later this week – was boosted by the efficiency of its personal label merchandise in addition to last-minute Sunday purchases at its comfort retailer community on Christmas Eve.
Kantar mentioned that, throughout the grocery retailers, households shrugged off financial worries to spend a median £1,054 over the interval.
It mentioned buyers continued to commerce as much as dearer merchandise, with a document £469m spent on premium personal label traces reminiscent of chilled objects, bakery items and contemporary meat in December alone.
Mince pie gross sales rose 13.2% to £93m whereas alcohol was up 5.1% to £three.9bn.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and shopper perception at Kantar Worldpanel, mentioned: “General grocery store gross sales elevated in worth by three.eight%, with a further £1bn ringing by the tills in comparison with the identical festive interval final yr.
“Consumers parted with £747m on 22 December alone, making the Friday earlier than Christmas the busiest purchasing day ever recorded.”
The report got here on the identical day as Morrisons delivered its personal better-than-expected buying and selling replace, and a day forward of figures from Sansbury’s.
Figures from the BRC additionally out on Tuesday confirmed UK retailers noticed a zero.6% like-for-like gross sales rise in December however the report highlighted how the “extreme stress” on spending was weighing closely on some companies far more than others.
It mentioned that for the three months to December, meals gross sales had been up 2.6% however non-food gross sales noticed their worst decline since March 2009 – on the top of the monetary disaster – with a fall of 1.9%.
BRC chief govt Helen Dickinson mentioned: “The divergence between development in gross sales of meals and non-food has by no means been so stark.
“With inflation outpacing revenue development, buyers continued to see extra of their spending energy absorbed by important objects, together with meals, leaving much less left over for getting Christmas items.