Belfast Telegraph

Morrisons loses market share after festive slump

Under-fire supermarket Morrisons continues to shed market share, new figures revealed, after reporting a sales slide over Christmas.

The UK's fourth-biggest grocer saw its market share slip to 12% in the 12 weeks to December 23, from 12.4% a year earlier.

Morrisons this week revealed sales at stores open for more than a year dropped 2.5% over Christmas - the bottom end of City expectations.

Sainsbury's was the only one of the big four grocers to grow market share in the run-up to Christmas, figures from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel showed.

The UK's third-biggest grocer, which reports on festive trading today, saw its market share edge up to 17.1% year-on-year from 17%.

Industry leader Tesco's market share dipped to 30.6% from 30.5% during the same period in 2011. Asda, owned by US retail giant Wal-Mart, saw its market share decline to 17.3% from 17.5%.

Discount retailers Aldi, Lidl and Iceland were the biggest winners in the run-up to Christmas, growing sales by 30.1%, 10.8% and 9.7% respectively.

Frozen food retailer Iceland's market share of 2.2% is a 12-year high, and compares with 2.1% a year earlier.

Kantar director Edward Garner said: "The well-publicised underperformance of Morrisons continues and it is the only Big Four supermarket to lose sales."