Brexit vote? What Brexit vote? The rise of the discounters is still hitting supermarkets' market shares

Emma Haslett
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Brexit didn't hurt prices - but the discounters did (Source: Getty)

The results of last month's EU referendum may have sent markets reeling, but it seems the supermarket sector has continued as it was before - namely, with market shares sinking for all of the big four.

Figures by Kantar Worldpanel showed the Brexit vote had "no immediate impact" on the prices retailers were charging or sales volumes - although prices continued their steady decline, sinking 1.4 per cent in the 12 weeks the 17 July, compared with the same period a year ago.

Asda was the worst hit, with sales sinking 5.6 per cent, while sales at Morrisons fell 1.8 per cent (although a Morrisons spokesperson did ask us to point out it has sold five per cent of its space in the past year, including its M Local chain, which has since gone into administration).

Sainsbury's and Tesco (which has been busily offloading its assets to cope with the effect of increased competition) were also hit, with sales falling 1.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.


Meanwhile, discounters Aldi and Lidl - which have ridden roughshod over the rest of the sector in recent years - rose 11 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively, while sales at the Co-op rose 2.1 per cent and sales at Waitrose rose 1.6 per cent.

“Over the latest 12 weeks beer sales did bring about some cheer for the grocers, growing 2.8 per cent, ahead of the overall market," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

"The impact was mostly felt prior to England’s early exit from the Euro 2016 football tournament, which brought with it a rapid reversal in fortune for beer sales. Beer and lager were also hindered by poor early summer weather, as were barbecue favourites like sausages, which fell by 6.3 per cent.”

Supermarkets' share prices failed to sizzle (see what we did there?) on the news, with Tesco falling one per cent to 160.4p in early trading, while Sainsbury's fell one per cent to 225.5p and Morrisons fell 0.3 per cent to 182.9p.

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