Belfast Telegraph

Tesco's decline continuing

Market share slips closer to 30% as new rescue plan hatched

By Jamie Grierson

The challenge faced by Tesco to revive its UK business was underlined yesterday as research figures showed the supermarket giant still losing market share.

Tesco saw its market share slip to 30.7% in the 12 weeks to April 15, compared to 30.9% a year earlier, market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said.

The group saw its market share slip below the 30% mark for the first time in its history in the period to January, but it has since returned above that level after Kantar updated methods used in its calculations.

Tesco boss Philip Clarke unveiled plans to pump £1bn into the UK business with extra staff, revamped stores and more special offers after months of falling sales.

The chain is losing its market share to low-cost grocers such as Aldi, Lidl and Iceland, while number two rival Asda was boosted by its recent acquisition of Netto.

The overall grocery market grew by 5% in value in the period driven by higher food prices.

Kantar said grocery inflation stood at 5.5%, unchanged from the previous two reports. Asda saw its market share grow from 17% to 17.6%, but this was flattered by its purchase of 147 Netto stores.

Third-place Sainsbury's held at 16.6%, Morrisons dipped from 12.1% to 11.9%, while high-end grocer Waitrose grew its share from 4.3% to 4.5%.

Aldi grew 2.2% to 2.7%, Lidl rose 2.6% to 2.8% and Iceland lifted its share from 1.9% to 2%.

Edward Garner, Kantar Worldpanel director, said the growth at Waitrose and the budget grocers suggested shoppers were polarising their spending.

He said: "Waitrose sees no slowdown in its growth as some households refuse to let economic pressures affect their food purchasing."

Tesco revealed its UK strategy last week after a recent profits warning - its first in 20 years - and a slump in its share price.

But strong growth in areas such as Asia helped overall group profits rise to £3.9bn.


What Tesco plans to pump into its UK stores to combat the slump