Grocery sales and cashless supermarkets
Figures released by Kantar show at least once a month.that while grocery sales for the 12 weeks to the end of October are down on the same period last year, they are more than 7% up on the same period in 2019,, before the pandemic. This has been the experience of all major grocery retailers.
Online grocery sales remain stable at justover 12% of the grocery market. One in five households orders groceries online.
In the supermarkets, shoppers are making less frequent, but bigger shops, despite continuing to visit supermarkets around every other day. Shopping around seems to be the trend, with households visiting at least three different supermarkets in an average month.
Grocery price inflation, at just over 2%, is less than the overall inflation figure published yesterday.
Increases in the spend include large increases in healthcare products (cold and flu treatment and cough liquids), and special events (halloween and now Christmas). After the last 18 months of uncertainty, consumers are wanting to celebrate in style this year.
The latest figures on market share show Tesco with 28%, Sainsbury’s 15%, Asda 14%, Morrisons 10%, Aldi 8%, with the Co-Op slightly ahead of Lidl on a little over 6%.
Tesco have opened a cashless supermarket at High Holborn in London.
Customers download an app, scan a QR code as they enter, and a network of cameras and sensors calculates the products being bought. The customer is able to walk out without stopping to pay.
Amazon has six cashless supermarkets in the UK and many more in the USA. Cashless supermarkets are also to be found in China, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands and Skandanavia.
Other UK supermarkets are also looking at cashless supermarkets, but making no commitments. The technology has been available for 20 years, during which time supermarkets have kept the possibility of cashless supermarkets under review, but have felt that customers are not ready for this to be introduced.
It seems inevitable that cashless supermarkets will be introduced, but industry insiders think that thi will be at city centre stores only in the foreseeable future, where customers want tto be in and out as quickly as possible.
The Government’s Office for National Statistics believes that cashless supermarkets are likely to expand, with almost two third of cashier jobs being lost in time.