The grocery sector experienced year-on-year growth of 5.1 per cent in the 12 weeks to December 26th 2010, with Sainsbury’s the only big four grocer to increase its market share during the period.
According to the latest Kantar Worldpanel data, which provides a monthly analysis of the UK’s grocery performance, Sainsbury’s now holds a 16.6 per cent share of the sector.
Up 0.3 per cent on the same period one year before, the growth means the company is only 0.2 per cent behind the UK’s second largest grocery firm Asda in terms of market share.
Sainsbury’s well publicised commitment to significantly increase retail space over the last two years appears to be paying off, highlighted by its consistent growth reported by Kantar in recent months.
In the second half of 2010 the company opened its largest stores in England, Wales and Scotland, while it also announced yesterday that it plans to create 20,000 full-time and part-time jobs in the next three years as its retail portfolio continues to swell.
Meanwhile Walmart-owned Asda has lost ground on its competitors, as has Morrisons, which catered for 12.2 per cent of all grocery sales in the 12 weeks of trading analysed by Kantar.
The sector’s number one business in the UK, Tesco, continued its dominance of the market, maintaining a 30.5 per cent slice of the grocery industry pie following its surprise market share increase during the previous month.
Edward Garner, Communications Director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Widespread disruption caused by the heavy snow before Christmas meant that many consumers only ventured outdoors for essential grocery shopping trips this year.
“The high streets are usually at their busiest over the festive period but this Christmas shoppers chose instead to stock up on non-food items such as DVDs, toys and books while doing their grocery shop.
“Increased spending levels rather than shopper numbers were therefore the driving force behind the strong growth of the grocery sector this period.”