Coronavirus: Record supermarket sales in March ‘busier than Christmas’

Busy tills at a UK supermarket Image copyright EPA

Sales of groceries in the UK in March beat all previous records as shoppers stocked up for a long period at home, according to consumer analysts Kantar.

The busiest spell was 16-19 March, when 88% of households visited a food store, adding up to 42 million extra trips across four days.

In the last four weeks, year-on-year supermarket sales grew by 20.6%.

Kantar’s Fraser McKevitt said £10.8bn sales in the past four weeks were “even higher than levels seen at Christmas”.

The figures have mainly risen because of people making extra shopping trips, rather than spending more on each visit.

The average household spent an extra £62.92 during the past four weeks, equivalent to adding five days’ worth of groceries.

London had the biggest increase, with grocery spending up by 26% during the month.

Mr McKevitt added: “It’s inevitable that shoppers will add extra items to their baskets when faced with restrictions on their movement.

“With restaurants and cafes now closed, none of us can eat meals on the go any longer and an extra 503 million meals, mainly lunches and snacks, will be prepared and eaten at home every week for the foreseeable future.”

Online grocery spending was 13% higher than in the same period last year.

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