Sainsbury’s sees sales growth as Aldi and Lidl continue to advance
- Credit: PA
Sainsbury’s was the only one of Britain’s big four supermarkets to grow sales in the last three months - but still saw its number two spot in the sector retaken by Asda, according to latest industry data.
Sales at Sainsbury’s rose 0.1% compared to last year in the 12 weeks to August 16, although this was behind the wider sector’s growth of 0.9%, with the pace set by discounters Aldi and Lidl.
The continued advance of the German-owned stores saw their market shares rise to 5.6% and 4.1% in the period, together accounting for nearly £1 in every £10 spent in the British grocery market, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.
Asda, which has swapped second and third places with Sainsbury’s in recent months, saw total sales fall 2.5% as its market share shrank to 16.6%, 0.6% lower than last year.
It comes after the Leeds-based grocer reported earlier this month that it had hit a “nadir” with a worst-ever quarterly like-for-like sales fall of 4.7% over the 11 weeks to June 30.
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In the latest Kantar data, Sainsbury’s sales growth was its first since March, but its market share was 0.1% lower at 16.4%.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said Asda’s greater focus on non-food items meant its share was traditionally higher in the summer and Sainsbury’s should regain the number two spot around Christmas.
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Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, saw sales fall 0.9% as its market share fell by 0.5% to 28.3%.
The Kantar report said buoyant growth in its convenience stores and online had not been enough to offset lower revenues.
Sales at Bradford-based Morrisons slipped 1.1% as its portion of the sector dipped by 0.2% to 10.8%. Kantar said it reflected a tough comparison with last year when a widespread voucher promotion was in place.
Elsewhere, Iceland’s attempts to create a more premium image for frozen food helped sales rise 3.4%, while at Waitrose, a “Pick Your Own Offers” promotion saw growth of 3.7%.
Aldi saw sales rise 18% and Lidl picked up by 12.8%, but the performance of the larger chains held back the wider sector to 0.9%.
Mr McKevitt said: “Industry growth of around or below 1% 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% cheaper than 2014.”