Today in Retail Highlights: UK Supermarkets

Today in Retail Highlights: UK Supermarkets

November 28, 2023
4 min read

In this new blog series, Mintel reviews the latest retailer marketing and innovations, including new store openings, online developments, new concept or category launches. For this month’s highlight, our retail experts weigh in on three exciting developments in UK supermarkets.

Tesco teams up with March Muses in new partnership

This is a really positive move by Tesco and one for retailers to take note of. Teaming up with March Muses (which creates decorations, cards, nightwear etc. featuring black and brown characters) is the grocer’s latest move to show customers its commitment to inclusion. 

Source: Tesco

Consumer’s ethical and social values are becoming increasingly more powerful purchasing drivers. As noted in Mintel’s Trend Serving the Underserved, consumers who have been underrepresented in the past are getting a greater voice and are expecting retailers to take the lead in representing different demographics both on product and service level. Giving greater exposure to underrepresented groups can also capture the goodwill of customers, a focus for every retailer at Christmas with shopper promiscuity high. Moving early on this is also crucial with Christmas ranges already on shelf at many retailers.

The partnership not only sets Tesco apart from its competitors but will help March Muses launch their products into the mainstream, whereas previously they have largely relied on social media to promote and sell their products. While this has earned the company a devoted following on social media it also limits the reach of their products, with retail partnerships still critical for many start-up D2C brands as discussed in more detail in Mintel’s Direct-to-Consumer Retailing Report 2023.  

As Mintel’s Christmas Gift Buying-UK Report 2023 reveals, a large portion of shoppers still prefer to shop in-store (73%) and with supermarkets a go-to destination for seasonal products, the exposure of more diverse Christmas gifts and ornaments is bound to capture the attention of shoppers. However, most importantly, this partnership should inspire other retailers to embrace diversity in their offerings.

Aldi to open 12 new stores in the UK before Christmas

Rising inflation during the past year has put a strain on consumer spending as many have shifted to a price-conscious mindset when it comes to shopping. Nearly seven out of 10  consumers in the past two months have been affected by increases in food and drink prices.

Aldi has fared extremely well during this climate, situating itself as an ally for those feeling the strains of the cost-of-living crisis with 35% of consumers now spending the most with the retailer, rising among those in tighter financial situations. Naturally Aldi is looking to build on this with further pledges to invest in its UK store estate. 

Source: Aldi

This is not the first time Aldi has announced rapid store openings across the UK, as earlier in the summer, it opened five stores in five weeks with the retailer determined to make itself more accessible and a convenient option for more UK shoppers. Aldi’s investment in its store estate stresses its focus to strengthen its place in the wider grocery sector, but the difficulty it will face with future expansion is finding suitable sites that do not cannibalise its own sales in the highly crowded UK grocery sector.

Asda’s investment in own-label meal solution ranges

The supermarket chain’s £19.5m investment in its own-label meal solutions ranges highlights the importance of supermarkets to develop and strengthen their own-label offerings to ensure deeper relationships with grocery shoppers. The current market conditions mean a majority of grocery shoppers have put price and quality of food and drink higher on their agenda. This has provided opportunities for private label to grow, with ready meals and ready-to-eat a particular opportunity as shoppers look for cheaper alternatives to eating out. Indeed Mintel’s Convenience Stores – UK 2023 Report shows two-thirds of consumers would consider buying premium ready-to-cook products as a cheaper alternative to ordering a takeaway. 

While there are indications that the worst of inflation may be over and confidence is edging up, investment in own label ranges will remain vital to highlight everyday value to shoppers, with most grocery shoppers saying own-label ranges are the main difference between supermarket retailers. 

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