Battle between top UK grocers intensifies

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Latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel (formerly TNS Worldpanel) for the 12 weeks ending 24 January 2010 show the battle between the top supermarkets has intensified and the discounters have been left out in the cold.

At the forefront of the fight for the shopper’s pound is Tesco, says Kantar. It has reaped the rewards of its seasonal schemes to attract shoppers with double Clubcard points and pre-Christmas mail shots. In steadying its market share Tesco has put the pressure on Asda, which has seen its share growth halted this month.

Edward Garner, communications director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “This month’s figures show that the major retailers cannot afford to rest on their laurels in the post-festive period. In fact, the battle for consumers’ share of wallet is hotting up and Asda has already responded to these results by rolling out a new coupon scheme across the UK national press.”

Among the other big players, Morrisons continues to strengthen its position in the market this month following its appointment of a new chief executive, Dalton Philips.

The retailer recorded its highest ever market share this month at 12.5% and leads the top four with a growth of 10.6% – over twice the market growth rate.

After a fruitful Christmas, Sainsbury’s has maintained a strong performance this month and grown its share of the grocery market from 16.1% to 16.3% since last year.  Waitrose has increased its market share to a record 4.1%.

The assimilation of Somerfield by the Co-operative is well underway and a record growth of 16.9% has lifted the Co-operative share from 5.0% a year ago to 5.5%.

At the other end of the retail spectrum, Aldi and Lidl are the casualties of the battle between Tesco and Asda, with both retailers once again losing market share.

The results indicate some shoppers are turning their backs on the discounters as consumer confidence improves, said Kanatar.