Tesco shares rose 2.2 percent in mid-morning trading after new figures showed while it has lost yet more market share, its rate of decline is slowing. while Waitrose has climbed to a record high, doing just enough to keep it ahead of German challengers Aldi and Lidl.
The figures, by Kantar Worldpanel, also showed Waitrose has climbed to a record high, doing just enough to keep it ahead of German challengers Aldi and Lidl.
Embattled supermarket Tesco saw its market share decline by 3.6 per cent in the year to October 12, dropping to 28.8 per cent. That is the lowest drop for more than a quarter – a sign Kantar's head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt interpreted as it “turning a corner”.
Asda was the only one of the big four to increase its market share, up one per cent to claim 17.3 per cent of the UK's total supermarket spend. Sainsbury's dropped to 16.1 per cent, while Morrison's also fell to 11 per cent.
Premium-end grocer Waitrose climbed 6.8 per cent to take a record 5.2 per cent of the sector.
Meanwhile Aldi and Lidl continue their ascent, up 27.3 per cent and 18.1 per cent respectively. Aldi now has a 4.8 per cent market share, while Lidl takes 3.5 per cent.
McKevitt said: “We are seeing clear polarisation of the market with both the premium and discount ends of the market gaining share, while the mainstream grocers continue to be squeezed in the middle.
“Asda has again emerged as the winner among the big four, growing sales ahead of the market, up 1% over the past year, boosting its share to 17.3%. Tesco is yet to see substantial improvement, however it seems it may be turning a corner as sales are down 3.6%, which is the grocer’s best figure posted since June.”
Kantar figures also revealed that the sector had seen its 13th successive fall in inflation, which has actually tipped into deflation.
Consumers paid 0.2 per cent less for a basket of groceries than they did 12 weeks ago.
“This is the another record low since Kantar Worldpanel began recording GPI in October 2006 and reflects the impact of Aldi and Lidl and the market’s competitive response, as well as deflation in some major categories including vegetables and milk,” the data group said.