UK shoppers spent £1.9bn stockpiling in the run-up to the national lockdown

Shoppers across the country spent £1.9bn when stockpiling groceries and products in the weeks leading up to the coronavirus lockdown.

Nielsen announced that there had been an 84% growth in frozen food sales across the grocery sector last week alone, compared to the same period in 2019.

The data from Nielsen follows the news that several retailers have fallen into administration and thousands of workers are now out of work.

Supermarkets handled an additional 79 million shopping trips in the four weeks to 21 March as consumers rushed to get essentials as COVID-19 spread.

One of the main drivers for this increase was the government announcement of the closure of pubs and restaurants across the country. Within this sector, in-store sales of beer, wine and spirits were 67% up – meaning that around £200m extra was spent on alcohol.

Sales at British supermarkets in March 2020 beat all previous records as shoppers stocked up for a long period at home amid the coronavirus crisis, according to consumer analysts Kantar.

The busiest spell was between March 16-19th, when 88% of households visited a supermarket. This meant that these households made up to 42 million extra trips across those four days.

In the last four weeks, year-on-year supermarket sales grew by 20.6%.

Overall, there has been more than £10.8bn in sales in the past four weeks – higher than throughout December 2019.