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Sainsbury's comes out on top at Christmas

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Photo: Reuters

Sainsbury's has once again been crowned the best performer of the traditional supermarkets, with its premium Taste The Difference brand posting the largest ever Christmas sales, and straightforward price cuts rather than multi-buy deals attracting an additional 114,000 shoppers, leading to a 0.8% sales increase on last year.

Figures released by Kantar Worldpanel have shown that nearly one in eight British consumers did their single biggest December grocery shop at either Aldi or Lidl.

Lidl was the fastest growing supermarket overall in the 2015 Christmas period with sales up by 18.5%, driven by an expanded premium range which contributed to customers increasing their average basket size by 7% to £17.20. Aldi followed with an increase in sales of 13.3%.

Waitrose, the Co-operative and Sainsbury's also grew ahead of the market in the 12 weeks to 3 January as sales across the grocery market dropped 0.2% on last year because of continuing price deflation.

Tesco sales fell by 2.7%, while its market share dropped to 28.3%, while Asda and Morrisons also saw their share sliding to 16.2% and 11%.

Kantar Worldpanel said Morrisons' share loss was expected as it continued to feel the effects of recent store closures, while the retailer had not repeated last year's Christmas Bonus loyalty cash promotion.

Waitrose benefited from shoppers trading up at Christmas leading to a sales increase of 1.5% and its market share rising to 5.2%.

"Shoppers reaped the benefit of falling prices this Christmas, with groceries 1.8% cheaper than last year,” said Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

"The amount spent on a typical Christmas dinner fell even faster - down by 2.2% - mainly due to cheaper poultry and traditional vegetable trimmings.

Wednesday 23 December was the single biggest shopping day of the year, but the anticipated uplift from an extra day in the week before Christmas didn't help the supermarkets overall. Consumers simply delayed their shopping trips later this year, rather than making any extra trips."

He added: "The discounters are continuing to establish themselves in the minds of British consumers - almost one in eight did their single biggest December shopping trip in Aldi or Lidl, on top of the 15.6 m households who visited at some point in the 12 weeks.

"That is an increase of nearly 1m shoppers on last year, and their combined share is up from 8.3% last year to 9.7%."

Published on Tuesday 12 January by Veebs Sabharwal

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