Supermarket sales slowing as shoppers rein in spending

 
City A.M. Reporter
SALES growth at grocers slowed in February, despite higher prices, according to market research published yesterday, adding to signs of growing caution among consumers since the start of the year.

Kantar Worldpanel said grocery sales rose 3.9 per cent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 20 February, down from 4.2 per cent growth for the 12-week period reported last month.

Heavy discounters Aldi and Lidl both saw sales surge more than 13 per cent as their existing shoppers spent more with them.

Kantar said customers were not defecting from the major supermarket groups and many were still prepared to treat themselves, with upmarket chain Waitrose achieving its highest ever market share.

Among the top four supermarket groups, Sainsbury’s continued its recent outperformance with its market share rising to 16.5 per cent over the 12-week period, from 16.3 per cent a year earlier – its 25th consecutive rise. Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer by sales, saw its market share slip to 30.3 per cent from 30.4 per cent, and Asda’s share fell to 16.9 per cent from 17 per cent. Outside the top four, WM Morrison maintained its market share at 12.3 per cent in the period. Waitrose’s market share rose to 4.4 per cent, from 4.3 per cent.