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Flight to quality in stores

City A.M. Reporter
Intense competition among Britain’s top grocers has hit sales growth at smaller hard discounters Aldi and Lidl, while Asda has suffered most from recent severe weather, market researchers said yesterday.

Kantar Worldpanel, the new name for TNS Worldpanel, said sales at Britain’s grocers rose 5.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to 24 January, helped by a small uptick in food price inflation to 2.8 per cent.

William Morrison remained the fastest growing of the country’s top four chains, with sales up 12.5 per cent, followed by J Sainsbury on 6.8 per cent and Tesco on 5.5 per cent. Asda lagged on 4.3 per cent, hit by its smaller store base as Britons chose to shop more locally in recent bad weather. Upmarket chain Waitrose continued to outperform, with sales up 17.5 per cent, while Aldi and Lidl both lost market share, growing 3.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.