Tesco nudges ahead as Morrisons’ share slips

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Tesco’s market share has increased to 30.7% in the 12 weeks to 28 November 2010, the first positive growth since May, according to the latest grocery figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

But Morrisons’ share has dipped from 12.1% in November 2009 to 12% in the latest period.

According to Kantar, the reversal of fortune at two of the top four UK grocers suggests the race for Christmas sales is intensifying.

Tesco’s recent Clubcard initiative, which gives shoppers extra coupons, has provided additional incentives for consumers this month, states Kantar.

The share dip at Morrisons – the first since the end of 2007 – signals an end to the growth in shopper numbers following the acquisition of Somerfield stores, Kantar adds.

Garner: predicting a premium Christmas

Edward Garner, communications director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Going forward Morrisons will have to focus on building basket size to sustain its performance. The current promotion where shoppers collect five till slips worth over £40 to qualify for a £30 payback is designed to address this.”

Both Asda and Sainsbury’s have relaunched their premium ranges in time for Christmas. Asda’s share has stabilised for the first time this year, at 17%, following a series of small losses, but the star performer among the top four is, once again, Sainsbury’s. Its share has increased from 16.1% a year ago to 16.4% and it is the 22nd report to show a year-on-year share increase.

Garner said: “Our predictions for a premium Christmas remain on-track as Waitrose strongly out-performs the market once again, increasing its share from 3.9% for the same period last year to 4.1% this year. By contrast, the discounters’ and Iceland’s market shares remain unchanged, perhaps showing consumers reluctance to scrimp on food in the run up to the festive period.”

The Somerfield presence is now negligible, leaving The Co-operative as a clear fifth player in the retailer standings, with a 6.7% market share.