U.K. Supermarkets Not Feeling Brexit Effects Amid Sales Decline

  • Tesco is best performer among big grocers with 0.7% decline
  • Discounter Aldi says Brexit hasn’t affected its U.K. outlook

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has roiled industries from aviation to automaking, yet its impact hasn’t yet reached the nation’s supermarkets.

The vote for Brexit hasn’t changed prices at U.K. supermarkets or the amount shoppers are putting in their baskets, according to researcher Kantar Worldpanel. Sales declines eased slightly at all four of the U.K.’s largest supermarket chains in the 12 weeks to July 17. Market leader Tesco Plc was the best performer with a drop of 0.7 percent, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Asda continued to lag rivals with a 5.6 percent plunge.

The decline in sterling since Britain voted to leave the European Union last month has raised investors’ hopes that food price deflation -- which has crimped sales and profits in the sector for the last two years -- will abate. About 40 percent of the food bought in British supermarkets is imported, Kantar has said.

  • J Sainsbury Plc’s “shift away from high promotional intensity coupled with some recovery at Tesco is likely dragging the performance,” Andrew Gwynn, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, said by e-mail
  • Asda is the only large U.K. supermarket to have increased the proportion of sales on promotion, Kantar said
  • Sales growth at discounters Aldi and Lidl remained above their larger rivals, increasing by 11 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively
  • Aldi’s outlook and commitment to the U.K. remains unaffected by Brexit, it said in e-mailed statement

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