Sales of consumer goods in Spain rise on supply concerns amid war in Ukraine
MADRID (Reuters) – Sales of consumer goods rose 13% in Spain following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as supply problems, exacerbated by a partial transport strike, prompted buyers to stock up on commodities, market research firm Kantar said Thursday.
Kantar measured sales between March 6 and March 20, compared to the same period a year ago, and their total increase far exceeded a 5% rise in prices for Spanish mass consumer products in the two same weeks, which means that sales volumes have increased.
“Spanish shoppers are starting to change their habits and this is directly linked to the concern they are showing about the current scenario,” Kantar said, adding that 90% of consumers surveyed were worried about the impact of the conflict which has started on February 24. .
Supermarket chains across the country have limited sales of sunflower oil, which is mainly imported from Ukraine, and the truckers’ strike has created sporadic shortages of staples like milk and flour.
Earlier this week, Spain temporarily allowed stores to limit the sale of certain products to avoid stockouts when markets are under pressure.
Customers were buying more packaged food and beverages, which made up 48.4% of an average grocery cart, compared to 44% a year ago.
Spanish consumer prices rose 9.8% in March, the fastest increase since 1985, according to preliminary data released on Wednesday.
Young people have been particularly hard hit, according to the Kantar report, with consumers under 35 spending 20% more on basic shopping than a year ago.
In response, consumers are increasingly looking to buy cheaper private label products, and some 40% are trying to cut back on out-of-home consumption, Kantar said.
“Consumers are becoming more selective and spending more time looking for cheaper alternatives,” Juan Aznar, a professor at Barcelona’s Esade business school, told Reuters.
“Department stores able to maintain lower prices will be favored in these circumstances.”
(Reporting by Corina Pons; Editing by Nathan Allen and Bernadette Baum)