Sainsburys ups market share as Morrisons lags

City A.M. Reporter
J SAINSBURY, Britain’s third-biggest supermarket group, has lifted its market share, helped by investment in its cheaper own-brand products, industry data showed yesterday.

Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said Sainsbury’s sales rose 6.4 per cent in the 12 weeks to 28 October, increasing its share of the UK grocery market to 16.8 per cent from 16.4 per cent a year ago, as the group also continued to benefit from its sponsorship of the summer’s Paralympic Games.

Britain’s fourth biggest grocer Wm Morrison Supermarkets saw sales slip 0.4 per cent in the period, pushing its market share down to 11.5 per cent from 12 per cent a year ago.

In September, Morrison said it would ease back on its investment drive, reducing its new space target for the 2012-13 year due to expectations that high fuel prices and government austerity measures were likely to weigh on consumer spending well into next year.

“Morrison’s performance this month will cause concern. Recent announcements about the development of online and convenience ... will no doubt be given added urgency as these channels continue to deliver growth for competitors,” said Edward Garner, at Kantar Worldpanel.

Kantar said market leader Tesco achieved sales growth of 2.1 per cent over the 12 weeks, with its share falling 0.5 percentage points to 30.5 per cent. Britain’s second-largest supermarket group Asda, part of Wal-Mart Stores, saw its market share edge down 0.1 percentage point to 17.5 per cent. German discount retailer, Aldi, saw sales rise 29 per cent in the period, pushing its market share up to three per cent.