Financial News

  • 15 January 2014, 5:27

Supermarket Discounters In Christmas Victory

Discount supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl, along with Waitrose, were the big winners in the battle for market share over Christmas.

The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published for the 12 weeks ending January 5, suggested the three brands were the only ones to record strong growth.

Among the big four, only Sainsbury's held its share over the period - catching Asda - with year-on-year growth of 3.1%.

Waitrose grew its market share to 4.8% from 4.7% following a 3.1% rise in like for like sales over its festive season - the upmarket chain's food offering joining that of M&S in attracting customers with cash to spend, amid the wider squeeze on household incomes.

Morrisons suffered the most among the major supermarkets, with its share dropping from 12.0% last year to 11.5% now and a decline in overall sales of 1.0%.

Kantar said its lack of an online food offering - launched on Friday last week - hurt its business.

Total internet grocery sales over the Christmas/New Year period grew at 22% with 15% of British households placing orders. 

Local convenience shopping also grew with both Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local enjoying double-digit growth.

Tesco blamed "further weakness" in the UK grocery market for its fall in UK sales over Christmas.

The country's biggest supermarket chain said sales at British stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT, fell 2.4% in the six weeks to January 4.

Tesco, which saw its share fall to 29.6% in the latest 12-week period from 30.4% a year earlier, has committed £1bn of resources to a revamp of its major stores amid efforts to improve the shopping experience.

Morrisons endured a 5.6% decline in like-for-like sales during the six weeks to January 5 while Sainsbury's saw its own like-for-like sales rise by only 0.2% over a similar period.

Walmart-owned Asda - along with Aldi and Lidl - are yet to provide trading figures for the festive season.

But Ronan Hegarty, the news editor of The Grocer, said it was clear Asda's traditional price dominance among the big four was waning as competition intensified across the supermarket sector.

He told Sky News: "With the advent of all these comparison schemes, the brand matches, the price promises and stuff like that, shoppers can mix and match between the retailers and get better value by going to a number of different retailers."

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