Tesco bid to go upmarket fails as middle ground squeezed
Tesco's attempts to attract more upmarket customers have failed to stem the loss of business to rival grocers, latest figures show.
The business remains by far Britain's biggest supermarket with a 30.2% market share in the 12 weeks to September 15, but the figure was 30.9% a year earlier, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
It is one of the 'big four' supermarkets – which also include Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons – faced with the dual threat posed by Waitrose at the top end of the market and discount stores Aldi and Lidl at the other.
Tesco's premium Finest range saw double digit growth over the period – as did Sainsbury's Taste the Difference offering – but it failed to halt the march of Waitrose, which improved its market share from 4.6% to 4.9%.
Tesco, due to announce interim results at the start of next month, is under pressure to improve amid a £1bn turnaround plan. Its latest trading update showed like-for-like sales fell 1% in the first quarter to May 25.
The new industry figures showed that among the big four, it was only Sainsbury's that gained market share, improving from 16.4% to 16.6%, while Asda slipped from 17.6% to 17.3% and Morrisons dropped from 11.4% to 11.1%.
Meanwhile Aldi rose from 2.9% to 3.7% and Lidl was up from 2.8% to 3%.
Tesco's market share still tops UK but is down from 30.9% last year