Belfast Telegraph

Smaller grocers are enjoying welcome boost in sales

By Roger Baird

Supermarket sales have risen 0.8% year-on-year, with growth and record market shares coming from smaller grocers as the UK's Big Four supermarkets all suffer falls, latest figures show.

The Co-operative supermarket grew sales for the first time in a year, marking a highlight in a troubled two years for the group.

Co-op increased sales by 1% in the 12 weeks to July 19 in the latest till roll figures from Kantar Worldpanel, boosted by its expansion into convenience stores.

The chain returned to growth for the first time since July last year, although its market share remained at 6.3%.

Sainsbury's saw its sales fall 0.3% during the period, but still reclaimed its position as the UK's second largest grocer for the first time since January from Asda.

The report said Sainsbury's growth was driven by non-food sales and faster growth at its convenience stores in the South East, where it has a large number of stores. Its market share also dipped from 16.6% to 16.5% in the period.

Asda was the biggest faller of the major supermarkets, seeing its sales fall 2.7%, and its market share slip from 17% to 16.4%.

Tesco saw its sales come down by 0.6% and its market share dip from 28.9% to 28.5%.

The UK's major chains have fought an intense price war against discounters such as Aldi and Lidl over the last year. The falling price of staples, such as eggs and bread, mean that the average grocery basket costs 1.6% less than last year. Morrisons was the best performer among the Big Four, with sales edging down 0.1%.

Belfast Telegraph