According to NielsenIQ data, the number of British households shopping for groceries online has more than doubled in the last year, reaching 41% compared to 18% at the same point in 2020. Overall, online grocery sales are up 132% y-o-y, while sales at bricks and mortar stores declined by 1%. UK shoppers spent £1.5bn on online groceries in the four weeks ending 27th February 2021, with the online share reaching 17%. This is the highest ever share for online grocery sales in the UK and a 1% increase in share in just a month.
Total till sales for February grew by 10.6% y-o-y, the highest growth recorded since June 2020, when sales growth peaked at 14%. The top-performing retailer is Lidl, which enjoyed 21.2% sales growth in the past 12 weeks, as the discounter continues to benefit from its Lidl Plus loyalty app. Next came Iceland (+17.5%), and Morrisons (+11.7%).
NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins, said: “One year on since the pandemic began in the UK, it’s evident that a lot has changed in terms of consumer shopping patterns. Online grocery has now become a permanent fixture for many UK shoppers – it is now past the ‘tipping point’ and is at the ‘sticking point’. Consumers no longer feel like they have to shop online, but do so because they prefer to, particularly now that many retailers have expanded fulfilment capacities. Even when we exit lockdown and start to return to some normality, we anticipate that online demand will continue to grow ahead of the market.”