Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons lose £2bn to supply chain issues

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons have lost £2 billion this year due to ongoing supply chain issues, according to statistics from Nielsen.

Out-of-stock levels across all product categories at Big Four supermarkets are twice as high as before the pandemic, according to the statistics shared with The Grocer.

Soft drinks were the worst impacted category, with availability slumping to below 90 per cent in September according to the stats, well below their usual availability of around 98.5 per cent.

Ben Morrison, retailer services director at NielsenIQ, said that supermarkets were shifting their focus away from bulky items like bottled water as part of efforts to remedy the problem.

The Big Four supermarkets have also kept promotions at just 20 per cent of their product offerings in September, well below usual levels according to Nielsen, which it said is likely to continue into the traditionally promotion heavy periods of Christmas and Halloween.

However, some product categories are showing recovery according to the market researcher, the Big Four’s dairy product availability fell below 95 per cent in August but has since recovered to pre-shortage levels.

Retail footfall is showing signs of improvement overall, consumers made 45 million extra trips in September compared to the same period in 2020, according to Nielson data.

However, footfall remains down 6 per cent year-on-year compared to 2019.

The news comes as retailers across the UK make efforts to mitigate their supply chain issues; Sainsbury’s has announced that it will create 22,000 seasonal jobs across the UK for the festive period.

Shortages are also leading to increased pay in some sectors; warehouses are reportedly having to increase their wages by up to 30 per cent to attract new staff as a shortage of workers intensifies an already struggling supply chain.

“If you’re not sure whether your turkey is going to be in your order, if it might be substituted for a replacement, then you might want to go into store and get your hands physically on an item, ” said Ben Morrison, retailer services director at NielsenIQ.

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