GROCERY shopping sales among Bradfordians have shot up throughout the coronavirus pandemic, research has shown.

People in Bradford have spent 74 per cent more on food supplies while dealing with the Covid-19 virus, compared to last year.

The data comes from SIB, a regeneration charity, and was pulled together by Tortoise Media.

It shows the outgoings from a large sample of UK bank accounts, right across the country.

The dataset, at the time of writing, covers 28 weeks of this year, from the week ending March 31, to the week ending October 5.

Bradford is bucking the trend nationally, where the average town has suffered an 11 per cent loss of revenue flowing through it, in the past six to seven months.

Sales of all products to consumers in Bradford have actually risen by eight per cent on average, compared to the same period in 2019.

But this does not give the entire picture and the excessive grocery shopping has massively inflated that figure.

As with most of the country, non-grocery sales have taken a hit as a result of the pandemic.

People in Bradford have spent 13 per cent less on non-food items, on average across the 28 week period compared to last year.

Mark Goldstone, Head of Business Representation & Policy at the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said: “The data would support the view that as lockdown commenced and we were limited in our ability to eat out or visit non-essential retail, that we simply transferred this spend onto grocery shopping, with maybe some stockpiling taking place.

"We reported in the summer that with the ongoing limitations placed on hospitality and leisure and non-food retail that these sectors were running dangerously short of cash reserves and this appears to be reflected in the data also."

The biggest drop in non-grocery sales to Bradford consumers was witnessed right at the start of the first lockdown, with the highest decrease sitting at 46 per cent down from 2019, for the week ending April 14.

The deficit began to even out in July, when the national lockdown first began to be lifted.

But only six of the 28 weeks (21 per cent) show a slight increase in non-grocery sales from last year, with three weeks exactly the same as last year.

Shopping local was a requirement of lockdown and Tortoise Media identified wards where a large share of business had been done with very local people - living within one mile of the outlets.

Generally, these areas have held an advantage throughout the crisis and that has been witnessed in Bradford.

The city's overall sales figures were only down from last year for six of the 28 weeks, right at the start of the lockdown, and grocery sales never dropped below a 59 per cent increase from 2019, after the week ending April 21.

Sales of food supplies almost doubled for the week ending August 10 - the highest rise in grocery sales from last year for the whole 28 week period.

But that was against the general pattern of August this year, where people began to buy less food products.

Notably though, grocery sales in Bradford have since seen an increase from August into September and then the start of October.

Many areas of the city and district were plunged into a "local lockdown" from the start of August.

But the increase in grocery sales aligns with these restrictions tightening, and wards that had previously escaped the new rules being subjected to them in September.

Mr Goldstone said: "Rising infection rates may also explain the further increase in grocery shopping we see from September onwards as further restrictions started to be brought in.

"Anecdotally we are hearing that town and district centres may have benefited over the course of the pandemic as people chose to shop locally rather than venture into larger city centres, but online retailers appear to be the big winners as people changed their shopping habits, perhaps forever.

"It would be interesting to know just how much of the overall spend was made online and how quickly many local businesses were able to move their operations to accommodate deliveries, click and collect and other models.”