Countdown supermarkets are looking at another quarter of double-digit sales growth, although things have slowed since the government-imposed lockdown was lifted and smaller rivals reopened.
Australia's Woolworths Group today said its New Zealand supermarket sales in the 10 weeks ended June 14 were up 15.1 per cent from the same period last year.
The NZ unit lifted sales 13.7 per cent in the 13 weeks ended April 5, which captured some, but not all, of the five-week lockdown that left supermarkets among the few retailers deemed to be an essential service.
"New Zealand food sales remained strong throughout the quarter but have more recently moderated to high, single-digit growth as restrictions continue to ease," group chief executive Brad Banducci said in a statement to the ASX.
The supermarket operator notched up $1.93 billion of sales in the three months ended April 5, which included a 5.1 per cent increase in prices. Woolworths said at the time that stockpiling had seen a 50 per cent jump in sales in the week leading up to the NZ lockdown, while more expensive commodities and the suspension of promotions had also driven prices higher.
Government data show food prices fell 0.8 per cent in May from April, due largely to a 1.1 per cent decline in the price of grocery food and a 2 per cent drop in meat, poultry and fish prices.
Meanwhile, separate credit and debit card spending figures showed a 12 per cent lift in spending grocery and liquor in May from April, the biggest increase in spending on consumable goods.