The UK’s leading retailer Tesco continues to grow food sales slower than the overall grocery market and has lost ground to its closest competitor, according to the latest data.
Figures from research firm Kantar Worldpanel show that the second largest chain in the domestic grocery sector Asda reached a record share of the market during the 12 weeks to March 18th 2012 of 17.9 per cent.
With the addition of ex-Netto stores to its portfolio, Asda sales grew at just below the overall market level of four per cent, with the Walmart owned business posting 3.8 per cent growth, while Tesco managed less than a three per cent rise during the period.
Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, commented: “The findings make particularly good reading for Asda.
“Its 17.9 per cent share is an all-time record performance and its year-on-year growth rate of 7.8 per cent is leading the big four, largely thanks to the full integration of its Netto stores.
“Elsewhere, Tesco’s growth rate of 2.7 per cent still lags behind the market and results in a drop in share. However, it is an improvement on the growth rates seen so far this year. Both Sainsbury’s and Morrisons’ shares remain unchanged from the same period last year.”
Sainsbury’s growth was slightly ahead of the market at 4.1 per cent and Morrisons’ growth totalled 3.4 per cent during the quarter but it was the smaller operators who saw the biggest gains with Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland recording growth of 6.7 per cent, 28.5 per cent, 10.7 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively.
Tesco now holds 30.2 per cent of the market, Asda has 17.9 per cent, Sainsbury’s 16.6 per cent, Morrisons has 12.3 per cent and all the other supermarket chains have less than five per cent each.
With grocery inflation standing at 5.5 per cent, according to the Kantar Worldpanel, the rate of growth in the sector is still being dragged down by consumers trying to manage the rising cost of living through special offers and selective purchasing.