Waitrose posts record share as Big Four cling on to shopper numbers amid falling spend

Kath Hammond

Once again value growth is just 0.1% for the latest 12-week period (ending May 22) and as for the last period, all the major retailers continue to experience a sales decline. Kantar Worldpanel clarifies what is happening in the marketplace

Watch Edward Garner’s video commentary here.

According to the lastest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel the market is essentially flat with growth in value just scraping 0.1%. And as price deflation has once again remained at 1.5% for this period, Edward Garner, director at the market analysis company emphasises that this is a positive performance for the overall market, despite the fact that all the major multiples are continuing to see sales decline across the board. 

Shoppers remain, spend declines

“While the big four are struggling to keep their market share what’s clear is that consumers aren’t flocking away from their stores,” explains Garner. “Their combined shopper numbers have dropped only 0.2% in the latest 12 weeks. In fact, 94% of Aldi andLidl shoppers still visit at least one of the four major retailers every four weeks. However, consumers’ spend is increasingly being shared with other growing outlets which also include Waitrose, Co-op and Iceland and average household spend for the big four has dropped by 2.9%.”

Big Four pressured

The Big Four continue to be under pressure with sales declining at each retailer this period.

There have been signs of stabilisation at Tesco in comparison to historic declines over the past two years, showing the smallest drop in sales of 1.0%.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s 1.2% sales decline – which has led to a drop in its market share to 16.2% – has been driven by a decline in pack sales, Garner believes, which is the short-term result of shifting its promotional emphasis from multi-pack deals to straightforward price cuts.

And Asda’s low-price positioning continues to feel the targeted effect of Aldi and Lidl’s growth – sales fell 5.1% on last year giving it a 15.8% share of the market.

Looking at the other Yorkshire-based grocer, Morrisons continues to be affected by store disposals. 

The star performer this period has been Waitrose in that it has a achieved a record share of the grocery market of 5.3%, growing sales by 2.1%. 

Another retailer continuing a strong run is now-styled Co-op which has posted sales growth of 3.3% for the second period in a row to achieve a market share of 6.2%.

The fastest growing retailer in the marketplace is Lidl – up 14.2%. It is helping to contribute to the so-called premiumisation in the sector with its own-label Deluxe range that has grown by a staggering 65%. 

The picture at Aldi is similar to that at Lidl with growth at 11.4%. Along with its fellow discounter and of course Waitrose, it is also boosting the premiumisation trend with growth in its top-of-the-range own-label Specially Selected running at 15%.

Deflationary impact

Inflation in grocery continues at -1.5% for the 12 week period ending 22 May 2016. This means shoppers are paying less for a representative basket of groceries than they did in 2015. This is the 22nd consecutive period of grocery price deflation. Falling prices reflect the impact of Aldi and Lidl and the market’s competitive response, as well as deflation in vegetables and some major categories outside produce such as pork, poultry, butter and eggs.



The Latest from PBUK

Subscribe to PBUK!

Get regular produce industry insights, sign up for our email newsletter below.