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Sainsbury's Joins Tesco, Morrisons In Losing Market Share - Kantar
[August 27, 2014]

Sainsbury's Joins Tesco, Morrisons In Losing Market Share - Kantar

(Alliance News Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) LONDON (Alliance News) - The UK's big-four supermarket chains continue to feel the squeeze from heavy discounters and upmarket grocers, but while Asda continues to outperform its three big rivals, Tesco PLC and Wm Morrisons Supermarkets PLC are still taking the brunt of falling sales and declining market share, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel published Wednesday.

With the exception of Asda, owned by US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the big four are feeling the squeeze as Tesco and Morrisons market shares remained under pressure in the 12 weeks to August 17, while J Sainsbury, usually one of the better performing of the four, suffered a small drop in share to 16.4% from 16.5%, as its sales growth lags behind the market at 0.3%.

Tesco's market share declined to 28.8% from 30.2% a year before, while Morrisons' market share fell to 11.0% from 11.3% last year, but remained level with the immediately previous 12 week period. Sales at both supermarkets also continue to decline, down 4.0% and 1.9% respectively year-on-year, although Morrisons managed to stem the rate of declining sales in the period.

Despite tough market conditions Asda, Waitrose, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, and privately own Scottish frozen food chain Farmfoods all performed ahead of the market in terms of growth in the 12 week period, with both Asda and Waitrose boosting market share to 17.2% fro 17.1% and 4.9% from 4.8%, respectively, compared with the same period last year.

"Asda and Waitrose have achieved growth with differing strategies. Asda has pushed its “Price Lock” strategy to keep prices on everyday essential items low, while Waitrose is running competitive offers on home delivery alongside offers for myWaitrose card users allied to its overall quality and provenance positioning," said Kantar Worldpanel Director Edward Garner in a statement.

Meanwhile, Aldi and Lidl, both of which have been snapping up sales and market share, have maintained their record shares of 4.8% and 3.6%, respectively, whilst achieving impressive sales growth, up 29.5% for Aldi and 18.3% for Lidl.

The four big players are being squeezed between players including Aldi, Lidl and Farmfoods at the bottom end of the market, and Waitrose and Marks & Spencer Group PLC at the premium end.

According to Kantar, grocery price inflation fell for the eleventh consecutive period, standing at just 0.2% – the lowest level since October 2006, reflecting the impact of Aldi and Lidl and the market’s competitive response in the UK grocery sector, as well as deflation in some major categories including vegetables, bread and milk.

Tesco shares were down 1.2% at 249.05 pence Wednesday morning, with Sainsbury's shares down 1.7% at 307.10 pence, while Morrison shares were up 2.9% at 187.14 pence. Sainsbury's leads FTSE 100 fallers, while Morrison leads gainers.

Copyright 2014 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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