Asda re-takes position as Britain’s second largest supermarket

Asda in Cannock
Asda in Cannock
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THe UK grocery market has experienced slow growth, as prices continue to fall, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel

The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks ending August 16 2015, show continued sluggish growth in the British grocery market with an increase in sales of 0.9 per cent compared with one year ago.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “Industry growth of around or below 1 per cent has now persisted since summer 2014 and has become the new normal. Despite the accelerating British economy like-for like grocery prices are still falling, with a representative basket of everyday items now 1.7 per cent cheaper than in 2014.”

Thanks to recent efforts to create a more premium image for frozen food, as well as new store openings including its Food Warehouse format, Iceland is attracting more shoppers through the door than last year. Sales are up by 3.4 per cent as a result, though market share remains flat at 2.0 per cent.

Waitrose has had another successful period, with its ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ promotion helping to drive growth of 3.7 per cent. For the second month in a row there is also growth at the Co-operative, with sales at the till up by 1.1 per cent compared with last year.

Mr McKevitt added: “It’s been another successful period for the discounters, with growth at Aldi accelerating to 18.0 per cent. Lidl’s sales have also risen, up 12.8 per cent, taking its market share to a new high of 4.1 per cent.

“As anticipated, Asda has retaken its position as Britain’s second largest supermarket, despite a fall in sales of 2.5 per cent and a 0.6 percentage point fall in market share. The retailer’s greater focus on non-food items means its market share is traditionally higher in the summer, and it’s expected that Sainsbury’s will again become the number two retailer towards Christmas.”

Sainsbury’s is the only one of the ‘big four’ retailers to have seen an increase in sales, which are up by 0.1 per cent – its first growth since March. Growing slightly behind the market, Sainsbury’s year on year share has fallen by 0.1 percentage points to 16.3 per cent.

Sales at Tesco fell by 0.9 per cent and the retailer now holds 28.3 per cent of the market.

Buoyant growth in the convenience stores and online has not been enough to offset lower revenues in the larger shops. Morrisons’ increased decline of 1.1 per cent this month reflects a tougher comparison against last year, when a widespread voucher promotion was in place, Kantar said.

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