LONDON (Reuters) – Britons spent 439 million pounds ($608 million) on confectionaries ahead of Easter in the four weeks to March 27, a 34% rise compared with the same period in 2020, industry data showed on Wednesday.
Ahead of a slight easing of lockdown restrictions in England on March 29 but with non essential retail remaining closed, consumers also turned to supermarkets to treat themselves on clothes as well as home and garden items, market researcher NielsenIQ said.
It said sales of clothing doubled to 313 million pounds, while sales of home, up 61%, and garden items, up 92%, collectively increased to 175 million pounds.
“It’s clear that as we draw ever closer to the end of lockdown, consumers have been looking ahead to spring and indulging in some retail therapy, ranging from Easter chocolate to some new clothing or accessories for the home and garden,” said Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight.
The researcher said overall grocery spending fell 2.9% in the four-week period as it compared with the period before and just after England’s first national lockdown last year.
However, British shoppers still spent 1 billion pounds more on groceries in the four weeks than they did in the same period in 2019.
NielsenIQ’s data for the 12-week period to March 27 showed Asda, with sales growth of 6.0%, was the fastest growing of Britain’s big four grocers, followed by Morrisons with growth of 5.9%.
Market leader Tesco saw sales growth of 4.6%, while Sainsbury’s achieved growth of 4.8%.
($1 = 0.7220 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)