Sainsbury’s takes the lead at Christmas

Kasmira Jefford
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SAINSBURY posted the highest sales growth of the so called big four grocers in the run-up to Christmas and was the only one to grow market share, data revealed yesterday.

Figures from Kantar Worldpanel showed Britain’s grocery market grew 3.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to 23 December, with the strongest growth at the discount and premium ends of the market – at Aldi and John Lewis’ Waitrose respectively.

Among the big four – which also includes market leader Tesco, Wal-Mart’s Asda and Wm Morrison – Sainsbury’s saw sales growth of 3.4 per cent, edging up its market share by 0.1 percentage points to 17.1 per cent. Tesco, which is fighting back after a dire Christmas in 2011 led to its first profit warning in 20 years, saw sales growth of 2.9 per cent but its market share dipped slightly – 0.1 percentage points to 30.5 per cent.

Morrisons’ share dropped from 12.4 per cent to 12 per cent.

Waitrose achieved sales growth of 5.4 per cent, while budget chains Aldi, Lidl and Iceland posted respective growth rates of 30.1 per cent, 10.8 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively. Sainsbury publishes its latest financial results today.