Sainsbury’s, alongside market leader Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, is battling to reverse the flow of shoppers to German discounters Aldi and Lidl through price cuts, as well as product quality and service improvements.
Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said Sainsbury’s sales grew 0.9 per cent in the 12 weeks to September 13, while sales at Tesco, Asda and Morrisons fell 1.0 per cent, 2.9 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.
Sainsbury’s maintained its market share at 16.2 per cent while it edged down at the other three.
The data represents a boost to Sainsbury’s ahead of a second quarter trading statement scheduled for next week. Its shares were up one per cent this morning, while shares in Tesco and Morrisons were both down one per cent.
Kantar said Sainsbury’s attracted 250,000 new shoppers over the 12 week period, helped by the expansion of its convenience store outlets.
Aldi and Lidl continued their strong performances at the expense of the traditional players with sales rises of 17.3 per cent and 16.0 per cent respectively. Kantar said some 56 per cent of British households shopped at one of the two grocers in the period.
Lidl’s market share hit a record high of 4.2 per cent, while Aldi’s increased to 5.6 per cent.
Overall market growth for the 12 weeks was 0.9 per cent, the sixth straight month that sales have grown by less than one per cent.
Kantar said deflation was 1.7 per cent over the period.
Falling prices reflect the impact of Aldi and Lidl and the market’s competitive response, as well as deflation in some major categories including eggs, bread, butter and crisps.