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Retail sales rebound from 'sharpest decline in memory' led by online and grocers



Treats: Kantar retail analyst Emer Healy says spending still up

Treats: Kantar retail analyst Emer Healy says spending still up

Treats: Kantar retail analyst Emer Healy says spending still up

Retail sales rebounded strongly in June following "the sharpest decline in living memory", according to industry group Retail Excellence.

Its report - based on data from 4,500 shops in 19 retail sectors - said like-for-like sales slumped 47pc in April, 36pc in May but just 0.03pc in June.

Those figures combined the massive losses experienced at closed shops with the surging demand at supermarkets and online retailers, who saw sales leap by 200.7pc in the quarter.

Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence, said most retailers had just weathered "the sharpest decline in sales in living memory with all non-essential retail closed across the State for nearly three months".

But he said the crisis would "accelerate and cement" shoppers' use of online stores.

Meanwhile, the latest data on supermarkets confirmed they have experienced sales nearly a quarter higher than normal.

A survey of 5,000 households by Kantar found that shoppers spent an extra €578m in the 12 weeks to July 12 versus the same period a year ago.

Much of that 23pc extra spending went on exceptional volumes of alcoholic drinks, sweets and savoury snacks.

"Shoppers are treating themselves at home," said Kantar retail analyst Emer Healy.

Sales of savoury snacks and confectionery were 45pc and 35pc higher, respectively, than in the same stretch of 2019.

Supermarket sales of alcoholic drinks surged by 76pc.

"Although people are free to visit pubs and restaurants with the easing of restrictions, limitations on group size and time allowed at the table are potentially contributing to the continued boost in take-home alcohol sales," Ms Healy said.

Sales of deodorant have fallen by 15pc as people work from home and "attend fewer social gatherings", she said.

Sun cream sales are 66pc lower as we holiday at home.

SuperValu remained the top-selling grocer for the fourth month running with a 22.4pc market share.

Kantar said SuperValu was the only supermarket chain to grow footfall in the past month. This helped to raise its sales by 30.9pc from a year ago.

Tesco had a 21.1pc share.

Dunnes Stores, third with a 20.3pc share, saw its sales grow the least among supermarket brands over the past year by just 14.3pc.

Lidl reached 12.7pc, its highest-ever slice of the Irish market. Aldi, ahead of its German discount rival here a year ago, retained a 12.3pc share.

Others, including Centra, M&S, Spar, Boots, butchers and greengrocers, combined for an 11.1pc market share.

Average grocery prices are 2.8pc higher than a year ago, according to Kantar's monitoring of 30,000 products.

Irish Independent