Sainsbury’s expands share but Morrisons still losing ground

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BRITAIN’s third-largest grocer, Sainsbury’s, expanded its market share in the 12 weeks to March 17, while industry leader Tesco and Bradford-based Morrisons lost ground, according to monthly data.

Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said Sainsbury’s sales grew 6.2 per cent in the period, giving it a market share of 16.9 per cent. Tesco’s grew 1.1 per cent as the wider market grew 3.9 per cent, while Morrison’s sales fell 1 per cent.

Sales at number two grocer, Leeds-based Asda, rose 3.8 per cent.

The figures show further market polarisation, with Waitrose growing sales by 12.5 per cent and extending its market share to 4.8 per cent, from 4.4 per cent a year earlier.

Budget chain Aldi’s sales were up 30.8 per cent, boosting its share from 2.6 per cent a year ago to 3.3 per cent.

The figures cover a period of low wage growth and rising inflation and as shoppers grapple with the fall-out from the industry’s horse meat scandal, which erupted across Europe’s food industry in January when testing in Ireland revealed that some beef products also contained equine DNA.

Fraser McKevitt, retail analyst at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Austerity and provenance are the key factors behind the varying retailer performances this month.

“Continued pressure on household budgets has helped Aldi, Lidl and Iceland to record market- beating growths while Waitrose and Sainsbury’s have managed to mostly avoid adverse media coverage from the horse meat scandal.”

Lidl’s sales grew by 10.5 per cent in the period, taking its market share to 2.9 per cent, while Iceland grew by 8.7 per cent, with a market share of 2.1 per cent.

Kantar said grocery inflation was 4.2 per cent for the 12-week period.