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Clubcard lifts Tesco's share of customers

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is growing market share for the first time in two years as it fights back at its rivals, industry figures show.<br /><br />Tesco&rsquo;s double Clubcard points promotion &ndash; which cost the group around &pound;5m a week &ndash; helped its share of the grocery market climb to 30.7 per cent in the 12 weeks to 1 November, compared to 30.6 per cent a year ago, the data from TNS Worldpanel showed.<br /><br />Sales at Britain&rsquo;s biggest grocer&rsquo;s rose 4.7 per cent pushing it ahead of the 4.4 per cent seen in the wider grocery market.<br /><br />Asda consolidated its position as the UK number two with market share of 17.3 per cent, while J Sainsbury is in third place with 15.9 per cent.<br /><br />All of the big four supermarkets outperformed the average rate of growth in the grocery market. But Morrisons &ndash; which enjoys an 11.7 per cent market share &ndash; delivered the highest growth at 8.5 per cent, as it continued its expansion nationwide. <br /><br />Waitrose now has four per cent of the grocery market, up from 3.7 per cent a year ago.<br /><br />And in a sign that the pressures of the recession are easing, sales at upmarket chain Waitrose surged 12.3 per cent over the period, its best performance since September 2005.<br /><br />Discounter retailers Aldi, Netto and Lidl did not fare so well. Their share of the market remained steady at 6.1 per cent year-on-year after food price inflation eased and shoppers returned to more mainstream names. <br /><br />Mike Watson, from Nielsen, said: &ldquo;It is getting more competitive with Tesco, Sainsbury&rsquo;s and Morrison all offering shoppers either double points, coupons or vouchers to remain loyal this Christmas.&rdquo;