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Retail results show online food sales are eating traditional supermarkets’ lunch PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 August 2017
July’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) retail results, released today, reveal online food spending was up nearly 14% YOY. This makes online food sales worth 5.3% of all UK consumer spending. Responding to these figures the e-commerce home delivery experts Fastlane International say this shows UK High Street supermarkets now are now under threat.  

Fastlane’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks, says: ‘July was a strong month for internet sales, which were up 15.1% against July last year. Internet sales now account for 16% of all consumer spending. It is the strong growth in online food sales that is most striking, however. While July wasn’t a bad month for traditional supermarkets - with overall food sales up 2% following a wobbly few months - this was totally eclipsed by the stellar 13.9% growth in online food sales.’

July was the month that Tesco announced the introduction of near nationwide one-hour food deliveries; and David says this is no coincidence: ‘It’s not only the growth of online only food delivery services such as Ocado and Deliveroo that are feeding the growth in online food sales. We often forget it was the ‘traditional’ supermarket Tesco that pioneered e-commerce, making the world’s first ever online sale as long ago as 1984. Today Tesco often comes second only to Amazon in UK online sales. Small wonder the likes of Marks & Spencer are pulling up their M&S’ socks and finally planning to introduce food deliveries this autumn.’

David warns that the established supermarket brand’s move to online sales could come at a price for their own High Street stores: ‘The growth of convenient home food deliveries, and one-hour food deliveries from Amazon and now Tesco, means high street supermarkets could soon become as obsolete as video rental shops.’

Concludes David: ‘Fastlane’s research shows physical supermarket sales will slump from 42% to 24% by 2030: and that’s not enough for many ‘brick and mortar’ stores to remain viable. Those huge out of town superstores in particular look like becoming white elephants. The decline of the weekly big supermarket shop is likely to spell the end for many local stores, as home deliveries replace pushing recalcitrant trolleys around the aisles every Saturday morning.’

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