Morrisons outguns big four rivals for second successive month

Tomm Leighton
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The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending June 21, 2015, show the overall UK grocery market slipping back into decline with 0.1% less cash going through the tills of the nation’s grocery supermarket chains compared to last year.

However, against this backdrop, some individual chains have shown growth, particularly Bradford-based Morrisons

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, says: “Morrisons has seen the largest sales increase among the big four retailers for the second month in a row, recording a sales growth of 0.6%, which has been supported by an increase in online shopping. Continuing to grow ahead of the market, the retailer has increased its market share to 11.0%, up 0.1 percentage points compared with a year ago.

“While only a small increase against a weak 2014, this does represent the first market share gains made by Morrisons since December 2011.”

Last seen in November, the return to marginal decline across the grocery market reflects the fact that despite prices falling steadily as the retailers compete for consumer spend, volumes are still only growing at a slow pace. “Sales volumes are up 2% compared to a year ago but are not anticipated to accelerate,” McKevitt says, “even with an improving economy, as demand for groceries has remained broadly steady since before the recession.”

Groceries are now in fact 1.7% cheaper compared with a year ago. Prices have been falling consistently since September 2014, but the rate of decline is now slowing and projected to rise again before the end of this calendar year.

Sales fell by 1.3% at both Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the 12 weeks to June 21. This took their respective market share down to 28.6% and 16.5% respectively, a decrease of 0.3 and 0.2 percentage points. At Asda, sales were down by 3.5%, leaving the Wal-Martowned chain with a 16.5% share, compared with 17.1% at the same time last year. In contrast at the Co-operative sales were flat, but were crucially ahead of the market for the first time in nearly four years. Helped in part by more shoppers visiting the stores, the retailer’s market share held steady at 6.2%.

There is no sign yet of Aldi and Lidl slowing down or that they will stop taking share away from the competition. The two discounters increased their sales by 15.4% and 9.1% respectively. Aldi reached a new high with a 5.5% share of the market while Lidl, also showing continued growth, rose to 3.9%. Waitrose also grew ahead of the market, with sales increasing by 1.2%, moving it to a 5.1% share.

• Kantar Worldpanel has launched a new data visualisation tool that allows you to view and analyse Grocery Market Share data online. The latest sales share figures for all of the major grocers can be viewed and compared with historical figures here and all graphics within the Kantar Worldpanel dataviz are available to embed in your site. (Optimal viewing in recent versions of Internet Explorer or Chrome)

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