Grocery sales fall in May as promotions rise

Tesco 100th anniversary price campaign

Supermarket sales slipped over the last month as grocers came up against tough annual comparisons.

Grocery spending was down 1.6% overall in the most recent four weeks, the latest Nielsen data showed. Nielsen described the fall as “significant”, but said the comparative period last year had been a “bumper” time for grocers, helped by a heatwave and the royal wedding.

This year’s anniversary celebrations by Sainsbury’s and Tesco, respectively 150 and 100 years old, contributed to a rise in promotions across the sector to account for 27% of sales.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.