Sainsbury’s spend on the sponsorship of the Paralympic Games appears to have paid off as it recorded strong growth during the period.

The grocer grew sales 5.6% in the four weeks to September 10, according to Nielsen.

In the seven weeks ending September 10, Sainsbury’s media spend increased by 98% year-on-year to £3.8m - excluding the Channel 4 sponsorship – driven by more than £1.2m spent on its Paralympic advertising.

Nielsen reports that gross sales including new space at Morrisons were down by 1.3% in the period while Asdawas up 3% and Tesco was up by 1.4% in the four week period.

Waitrose recorded strong growth of 7.5% over the month while Marks & Spencer’s food division was up by 3.2%.

During the Olympics, weekly sales growth across the grocers peaked at 4% up compared to the same week a year earlier.

Post-Olympics, sales growths during the four weeks ending 15 September stabilised, up 2.5%, and the volume of sales also increased by 1.1% year-on-year. 

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight Mike Watkins: “After a traumatic first six months of the year, there is some good news. Whilst value growths are lower than this time last year – due to a low point in inflation – unit growths have been in positive territory for the last 10 weeks and sales volumes in all categories have improved since last year.

“Significantly, the multiples have maintained their level of promotional activity throughout the summer, which continued at 35% of sales during the last four weeks, encouraging the cautious shopper to spend more. Retailers will be hoping this sales momentum, generated around London 2012, will keep going during the run up to Christmas.”