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BWS sales still down, despite Jubilee boost to fizz

UK sales of beers wines and spirits are down 10% in the latest four weeks compared to last year, the latest data from NielsenIQ has showed, although sales of fizz were boosted by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  

Retail analysts NielsenIQ reported that while total till grocery sales in the UK supermarkets continue to improve – sales were up 1.5% in the four weeks ending 18th June 2022 – volumes sales fell 5.5% as shoppers tried to manage their spending in response to the rising cost of living, which suggests that much of the increase comes from inflation.

During the four weeks, sales of beers, wines and spirits fell 9.7% compared to last years – a tough comparable as sales in June 2021 were still affected by the slow reopening of the hospitality industry. This fall was ahead of general merchandise, which fell only 6.1%.

However there was good news with Nielsen reporting an uplift in sales on the back of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which saw champagne up +47% and sparkling wine +40%. The mini-heat wave in the week ending 18th June also boosted overall sales by +0.7%.

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, said the outlook for the next four weeks was likely to be further pressure on shopper spend.

“Whilst there are some major sporting events over the next few weeks, such as Wimbledon, the F1 and the Women’s Euros, incremental volume growths to the end of July will probably remain subject to the vagaries of the weather,” he said. “In the meantime, as shoppers remain cautious, retailers will continue to offer differential price cuts and savings for their most loyal shoppers.”

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