The grocers enjoyed their steepest rise in sales in four years this month as the June heatwave drove revenues.

The amount splashed out in supermarkets in the four weeks ending June 17 jumped 4% year on year, according to the latest data from Nielsen.

It marked the first time since July 2013 that all of Britain’s biggest 10 grocery retailers recorded year-on-year growth.

In the final week of the period, the seven days to June 17, sales spiked 5.7%.

Nielsen said the last time weekly growth outstripped that, excluding Easter periods, was following a three-week heatwave in July 2013.

Grocers’ performance

During the wider 12-week period to June 17, Tesco again emerged as the best-performing member of the big four, growing sales 4.2%.

However, its market share dipped to 27.4% from 27.6% a year ago as its discount rivals continued to gain ground.

Aldi’s market share hit 8% following a 16.6% surge in sales, while Lidl’s revenues rose at a similar rate of 16%, taking its market share to 5.1%.

Iceland once again took the crown of the fastest-growing grocer outside of the big four, but its 9% uplift in sales was not enough to increase its 2.2% share of the market.

Morrisons registered a 3.4% upturn in sales, with Sainsbury’s close behind on 3.1%.

Asda’s turnaround efforts under Sean Clarke received a fillip of a 1.7% increase in sales, although the embattled chain was the slowest-growing member of the market’s leading 10 players.

The Co-op, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer recorded sales growth of 3%, 4.5% and 6.2% respectively over the 12-week period.

Nielsen said goods including soft drinks, alcohol and ice cream helped drive sales during the period as shoppers took advantage of the sunny spell.

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said: “The early summer weather gave supermarkets a much-needed shot in the arm.

“All in all it’s refreshing to have some good news around retailing. Looking ahead, a continuation in both the warm and dry weather and creeping inflation means growth should be maintained at around 3% for at least the next few weeks.”

Kantar data

According to rival data from Kantar Worldpanel, supermarket sales accelerated 5% in the 12 weeks to June 18. 

Kantar said Morrisons achieved the strongest sales performance of the big four grocers – up 3.7%, despite market share slipping 0.2 percentage points to 10.6%.

Tesco sales advanced 3.5%, its fastest rate since April 2012. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s grew sales 3.1%, driven by “impressive growth online and in its Local convenience stores – particularly in London”.

Kantar Worldpanel head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said: “The market’s robust performance this period is partly down to particularly weak sales growth last year and a continuing increase in like-for-like grocery inflation, which is now running at 3.2%.”