Tesco outperforms rivals in key Christmas period as Omicron fears boost grocery spending

Supermarket giant Tesco has outperformed its rivals over the key Christmas period, achieving its highest grocery market share since January 2018.
Kantar said grocery price inflation reached 3.5% in December.
// Tesco beats out its rivals to achieve its highest grocery market share since 2018
// Asda and Morrisons saw their sales fall by 4.4%, 3.9% and 6.5% respectively over the 12-week period compared with 2020

Supermarket giant Tesco has outperformed its rivals over the key Christmas period, achieving its highest grocery market share since January 2018.

The UK’s largest supermarket grew its market share to 27.9% over the 12 weeks to Boxing Day, an increase of 0.6%, according to data just released by market researchers Kantar Worldpanel.

Rivals Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons saw their sales fall by 4.4%, 3.9% and 6.5% respectively over the 12-week period compared with 2020.


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Tesco’s increasing dominance reflects the unmatched scale of its store and online operations, the success of its “Clubcard Prices” loyalty scheme and its ability to withstand supply chain disruption.

In October, Tesco raised its full year earnings forecast. Some analysts believe it may raise its outlook again when it updates on trading on Jan. 13. Its shares have increased 24% over the last year.

Kantar said total UK grocery sales were £31.7 billion over the 12 week period, down 3% versus 2020 but up 8% versus 2019.

“The data suggests that while there weren’t formal (COVID-19) rules in place across the UK this year, many people celebrated at home again due to Omicron,” said Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt.

Kantar said grocery price inflation reached 3.5% in December, its highest since spring 2020, adding nearly 15 pounds to shoppers’ average monthly grocery bills.

It said prices were rising fastest in markets such as fresh beef, savoury snacks and skincare, while falling in fresh bacon, bath and shower products and spirits.

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