UK's big 4 grocers all losing market share to discounters - Kantar

Tue Apr 8, 2014 5:44am EDT

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - Britain's big four grocers -
Tesco, Wal-Mart's Asda, Sainsbury's 
and Morrisons - all lost market share over the last
three months to discounters Aldi and Lidl, industry data showed
on Tuesday.
    The data from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel showed the
UK grocery market continuing to polarise, with the big four
being squeezed between the discounters and upmarket players such
as Waitrose.
    Although Britain's economy is recovering from a long and
deep recession, household budgets have remained under pressure
due to subdued wages growth, with many shoppers looking to save
money while also splashing out on the occasional treat.
    Kantar said Aldi's sales leapt 35.3 percent
year-on-year in the 12 weeks to March 30 - its highest ever
growth rate, boosting the discounter to a record market share of
4.6 percent.
    Lidl's sales rose 17.2 percent, taking its share
to 3.4 percent.
    Sales declines at the big four were accentuated by the later
timing of Easter this year, included in the 2013 period but not
in this data.
    Asda proved the most resilient with a sales fall of 0.5
percent, while Morrisons, which issued a profit warning last
month, was the worst performer with a decline of 3.8 percent.
    Tesco's sales fell 3.0 percent, while sales at Sainsbury's
declined 1.7 percent.
    Waitrose's sales rose 4.5 percent, allowing it to hold on to
its record 5.0 percent market share.
    Overall grocery market growth slowed to 0.6 percent.
    Kantar estimates that Easter accounts for market growth of
0.9 percent.
    It said grocery inflation was 1.8 percent for the 12 week
period - the lowest level since July 2010.
    Market share and sales (percent)
                  12 wks to     12 wks to     pct change
                  March 30      March 31      in sales
                  2014          2013          
 Tesco            28.6          29.7          -3.0
 Asda             17.4          17.6          -0.5
 Sainsbury        16.5          16.9          -1.7
 Morrison         11.1          11.6          -3.8
 Co-operative     6.1           6.2           -1.0
 Waitrose         5.0           4.8           4.5
 Aldi             4.6           3.4           35.3
 Lidl             3.4           2.9           17.2
 Iceland          2.1           2.1           2.8
 (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mark Potter)
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