London, March 31 (IANS) Supermarket sales across the UK in March beat all previous records as shoppers stocked up for a long period at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to consumer analysts.
The busiest spell was from March 16-19, when 88 per cent of households visited a food store, adding up to 42 million extra trips across four days, the BBC quoted the analysts from the London-based Kantar as saying.
In the last four weeks, year-on-year supermarket sales grew by 20.6 per cent.
Kantar’s Fraser McKevitt said that the 10.8 billion worth of sales in the past four weeks were “even higher than levels seen at Christmas”.
“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,” McKevitt added.
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 pounds during the past four weeks, equivalent to adding five days’ worth of groceries, the BBC quoted the analysts as saying.
London had the biggest increase, with grocery spending up by 26 per cent during the month.
Online grocery spending was 13% higher than in the same period last year.
The average online basket cost 81.88 pounds, which was 6 pounds more than in March 2019, while 14.6 per cent of households received an online delivery – up from 13.8 per cent at the same time last year.
Sales of alcohol also rose by 22 per cent, – an extra 199 million pounds.