LONDON (Reuters) – The online share of British grocery sales hit a record 16% in January, up from 8% in the same month last year, driven by increased demand during the country’s third COVID-19 lockdown, industry data showed on Tuesday.
Market researcher Nielsen said British consumers spent 1.4 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) on groceries online in the four weeks to Jan. 30 – year-on-year growth of 121%.
It said one in three of all British households shopped online, with 770 million pounds of the spend coming from new online shoppers.
The 16% share was the highest level since the 14% recorded in June 2020.
“This growth has once again been driven by increased demand throughout the third lockdown as shoppers shifted spend away from stores where overall growth was flat,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight.
“Retailers were able to flex their capacity in home delivery and increasingly in click and collect to meet the unprecedented number of new online shoppers.”
Nielsen said total UK grocery sales rose 10.6% in January year-on-year, also the highest since June 2020.
It said Morrisons, Britain’s fourth largest supermarket group, was the best performer of the country’s big four grocers with sales growth of 10.5% in the 12 weeks to Jan. 30.
Market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda followed with growth of 8.6%, 8.2% and 7% respectively.
Last week, rival market researcher Kantar published data for the 12 weeks to Jan. 24.
($1 = 0.7277 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey. Editing by Jane Merriman)