BWS figures remain flat heading in to festive period
Supermarket sales of beers, wines and spirits remain flat reflecting what retail analysts believe is the cautious mood amongst consumers ahead of December and the festive period.
As the drinks industry enters the most important time of the year in terms of sales, retail insight analysts, Nielsen, reveals overall BWS year-on-year sales figures are up only 2%.
The cautious mood amongst shoppers is also seen in overall supermarket figures that despite a "reasonable" end of the year to October, the UK's leading supermarkets have seen a slowdown in November despite increased advertising spend, voucher give-aways and promotions aimed at attracting cautious shoppers.
Nielsen said aggregate sales growth for the UK's leading supermarkets during the four weeks ending November 10 was up 2% year-on-year. For the previous four week period (ending October 24) year-on-year sales growth was 2.9%.
Nielsen points to the 5% fall in year-on-year sales of general merchandise products as being a key benchmark figure in consumer confidence. Packaged grocery, though, is up 3% and confectionery, snacks and crisps are 5% up compared to 2% in BWS.
Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer insights, said: "It's been a roller-coaster year, so we've been forecasting a slow start to Christmas trading. With so many money-off coupons available, consumers are already planning where to shop.
"The supermarkets are investing heavily in advertising. For example, during the week ending November 3, Morrisons spent almost £320K on promoting its annual Christmas Coupon incentive; Waitrose was the highest supermarket spender on TV at just under £750K, whilst Tesco spent the most across TV and print at just over £1.9m."
He added: "Differentiated and inspiring advertising which really connects with consumers is expected to play an important role in attracting shoppers in December, particularly for the big Christmas purchasing trips from December 20 to 23 which could be the biggest four days of sales in food retailing in 2012."