Sainsbury’s has cut short the decline in its market share as discount rivals Aldi and Lidl continue to boost sales.
Customer spend at Sainsbury’s dipped 0.6 per cent in the three months to 16 June, an improvement on the 1.2 per cent decline in the previous period following its failed merger with Asda.
German discount giants Aldi and Lidl continued their recent run of good form, posting sales growth of 9.3 and 7.5 per cent respectively, according to the latest figures from data analytics firm Kantar.
Aldi attracted an additional 883,000 shoppers to its stores over the period. Earlier this year the chain opened its first ‘Local’ format store in Balham, as it looks to expand its foothold in the capital’s convenience market.
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It was also a positive period for Ocado, which outpaced all other supermarkets with sales growth of 11.3 per cent.
Earlier this year the online supermarket agreed a £750m food delivery deal with Marks & Spencer, which will begin next year when its current deal with Waitrose expires.
Tesco retained its title as the country’s largest retailer, despite flat year-on-year sales and a slight dip in its market share.
Overall, the grocery sector grew at 1.4 per cent, marking the third consecutive year of sales growth.
But growth was subdued due to a tough comparative period last year, when sales were boosted by hot weather and the run up to the men’s World Cup.
“These challenges are reflected in typical summer categories: in the past four weeks sales of ice cream were £15m lower than this time last year, while beer is down £17m and burgers £6m,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.
“However, even unseasonable clouds have a silver lining. Shoppers sought refuge from the cooler weather and spent more on traditional comfort foods, with fresh and tinned soup sales up by 8 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.”