J SAINSBURY was the only grocer among the Big Four to hold onto its market share in the Christmas trading period, resisting pressure from discounters and upmarket rivals, industry data showed.
The grouping, which includes market leader Tesco, and Yorkshire’s Asda and Morrisons, are being squeezed between hard discounters Aldi and Lidl and the upmarket players Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.
Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said Sainsbury, battling Leeds-based Asda to be the UK’s second-biggest grocer, grew sales by 3.1 per cent in the 12 weeks to January 5, outperforming overall grocery market growth of 2.9 per cent and maintaining its market share of 17.1 per cent.
Market leader Tesco saw sales rise 0.2 per cent and its share dip 0.8 per cent to 29.6 per cent.
Asda’s sales rose 0.8 per cent, while Bradford-based Morrisons’ fell 1 per cent. Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose saw sales increase 29.4 per cent, 17.5 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively.
Last week Sainsbury’s posted a positive update for its third quarter, while both Tesco and Morrisons revealed sales falls in the Christmas period and saw annual profit expectations reduced.
Aldi and Lidl reported record Christmas trading.