Financial News

  • 13 March 2014, 7:18

Tesco Attempts To Arrest Market Share Slide

Tesco has fired a new salvo in the supermarket price war as it attempts to halt a slide in its market share.

While the chain remains easily top of the pile, its share of the UK grocery business has been eroded amid pressure from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl and†upmarket†competitors Waitrose and Marks &†Spencer.

Its market share fell to 28.7% - its lowest since†2004 - in the 12 weeks to March 2 compared†with the same period the year before, according to the latest data from market†researcher Kantar Worldpanel.

As part of its new plans to improve its appeal, Tesco†is offering loyal customers cheaper fuel depending on their weekly shopping bill.

The idea is for Clubcard holders to accrue points for money off on fuel, with savings potentially worth up to 20p a litre.

Earlier this week both Tesco and Asda†reduced petrol prices by 1p a litre.

Tesco†recently cut its profit margins as it bids to take the challenge to the rivals gaining ground on its long-held position of supremacy.

The chain - run by Tesco veteran Philip Clarke since 2011 -†is 22 months into a turnaround programme that aims to arrest falling sales.

The company, which has 3,150 British stores, has spent more than £1bn†on refits, more staff and new product ranges.

Speaking at the annual Retail Week Live conference, Mr Clarke insisted he did not feel any pressure from investors over declining market share but only expected to be in the job for a few years.

He said: "You only have a job like this for a few years.

"I am not a young man, I'm 54 years of age and I've given it 40 years."

He declined to comment on a Sky News report at the weekend that chief finance officer Laurie McIlwee, who has been with Tesco since†2009, was likely to leave in the next few months amid tensions with the chief executive.

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