Battling Sainsbury’s edges ahead of Asda

Leading supermarkets are continuing to battle for their share of the market.
Leading supermarkets are continuing to battle for their share of the market.

Sainsbury’s​ has returned to its position as the UK’s second largest supermarket chain, according to data released today.

The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks ending July 19 this year, show a slow growth in the British grocery market.

Overall sales have increased by 0.8 per cent compared with a year ago, with stronger growth being enjoyed by the smaller retailers.

Fraser McKevitt, head of consumer and retail insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The Co-operative has returned to growth for the first time since July 2014, increasing its sales by 1.0 per cent.

“The Manchester-based grocer’s focus on its convenience offer has been rewarded with an increase in shopper numbers, which have risen by 133,000.

“While The Co-operative’s growth is slightly ahead of the market, its overall share of 6.3 per cent has remained the same as last year.”

Despite a fall in sales of 0.3 per cent, Sainsbury’s has edged its market share of 16.5 per cent ahead of Asda, which now stands at 16.4 per cent.

Sainsbury’s has returned to its position as the nation’s second largest supermarket for the first time since January, boosted by non-food sales, its Sainsbury’s Local outlets and faster market growth in the south of the country, where it operates a larger number of stores.

Growth has accelerated at Waitrose, where sales have risen by 3.0 per cent.

Customers have taken advantage of the recently introduced ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ initiative to push market share up to 5.0 per cent, an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared with last year.

Mr McKevitt said: “The continued slow growth of the overall market can be explained by minimal volume growth and lower like-for-like prices, both as a result of cheaper commodity prices and the fierce competition between supermarkets.

“Comparable groceries are now 1.6 per cent cheaper than a year ago, meaning prices have been falling since September 2014, although they are projected to start rising again by early 2016.”

Aldi grew by 16.6 per cent while Lidl saw growth of 11.3 per cent, meaning both have moved to new market share highs of 5.6 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively.

Morrisons was the best performer among the ‘big four’ retailers, although sales fell back by 0.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, sales at Tesco fell by 0.6 per cent and at Asda by 2.7 per cent.

At Iceland sales were up by 3.0 per cent, coinciding with its recent ‘Power of Frozen’ advertising campaign.