Premium and value retailers are top performers in New Year

Waitrose: strong sales at Christmas

Retailers at both ends of the value spectrum are performing well, according to the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, published today for the 12 weeks ending 23 January 2011.

Sainsbury’s has had a strong start to 2011 and is the star performer of the top four supermarkets and the only retailer to increase market share – up from 16.3% a year ago to 16.6%. Tesco and Asda have matched market growth and held onto share but Morrisons has experienced a dip from 12.5% to 12.4% this period.

However, Morrisons is faced with stronger year-on-year comparatives, reports Kantar, since its 12.5% share in January 2010 was a record performance for the retailer.

Elsewhere, growth is polarising between Waitrose, at the premium end of the market, and the discounters at the value end.

Edward Garner, communications director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “With growth of 7.1%, Waitrose continues to benefit from strong sales at Christmas, boosted by new shoppers this year at both existing and new stores. However, with a group of shoppers tightening their purse strings and seeking value, we’re also seeing a counter trend at the other end of the retail scale. Although January is not traditionally a strong period for the discounters, both Aldi and Lidl have posted nearly 10% growth and lifted the total discounters’ market share from 5.9% last year to 6.1% in the latest period.”

The Co-operative has lost 0.6% market share in the latest period, as a result of the sale of some Somerfield stores. However, as Somerfield has now effectively ceased to exist, going forward the market share of The Co-operative will be a more accurate reflection of its performance.

Iceland’s strong run has come to an end with year-on-year growth held at 2.1%, reflecting a flat performance for the frozen food market overall.