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No more big four?

01/05/2018

The latest grocery market share figures, published today for the 12 weeks to 22 April 2018, reveal a market share of 15.9% and 15.5% for Sainsbury’s and Asda respectively, giving the proposed combined entity a potential share of 31.4%. 

Over the past 12 weeks, Sainsbury’s increased sales by 0.2% while Asda’s sales rose by 1.4%.  Both Sainsbury’s and Asda dropped market share compared to this time last year – down 0.3 percentage points and 0.1 percentage points respectively.    

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “This is a pivotal moment for the British grocery market.  A merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda would transform the traditional landscape placing nearly a third of market share in the hands of the joint supermarket giant, though the march of the discounters – and any enforced store closures – could impact this figure. 

“The two supermarkets appeal to different customer bases.  Asda achieves nearly two-thirds of its sales outside London and the south east of England in contrast to Sainsbury’s, which registers 59% of its sales in those two areas.  Sainsbury’s also appeals to more affluent shoppers (ABC1): this demographic accounted for 62% of all sales at Sainsbury’s in comparison to 46% of sales at Asda.  Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s premium own-label line ‘Taste the Difference’ clocked up sales of £832 million annually – nearly two and a half times the size of Asda’s ‘Extra Special’ range.”

Outselling Sainsbury’s in branded goods, Asda also attracts a greater number of households through its doors.  Fraser McKevitt continues: “15.8 million households bought their groceries at Asda over the past 12 weeks –500,000 more households than shopped at Sainsbury’s – but we are seeing a substantial number of customers frequenting both retailers.  Nearly nine million households visited both Sainsbury’s and Asda, with consumers showing little retailer loyalty.”

Overall, the British grocery market grew at its slowest rate since March 2017 at 2.0% – the result of lower grocery price rises.  The like-for-like inflation rate is now 2.1% and is expected to fall further in the coming months.

Fraser McKevitt continues: “Tesco and Morrisons both performed strongly this period.  Morrisons was crowned the fastest-growing traditional supermarket, raking in sales growth of 2.2% and holding market share at 10.5%.  Although Morrisons continues to prove a favourite with shoppers in its northern heartlands the retailer is also excelling in the capital, where it is growing at its fastest rate.  Meanwhile, for the twelfth consecutive period, Tesco has grown more than 2.0% – the first time the retailer has achieved this since March 2011.” 

With sales up 9.1%, Lidl became the UK’s fastest-growing bricks and mortar supermarket.  The discounter upped its market share by 0.4 percentage points compared to this time last year to reach 5.4%.  Despite traditionally performing well in sales of own-label products, branded sales at the retailer rocketed by 32% with sales of branded alcohol, soft drinks and dairy proving particularly successful.

Meanwhile, Aldi has continued to experience strong sales growth – up 7.7% – increasing its market share by 0.4 percentage points to 7.3%.      

Sales at both Iceland and Waitrose rose by 0.2%.  Iceland continues to hold market share at 2.1%, while Waitrose dropped share by 0.1 percentage points on last year to 5.1%.

With the disposal of 300 McColl’s stores still impacting headline performance, Co-op saw sales fall by 0.4% as its market share fell by 0.1 percentage points to 6.0%.  Ocado’s sales jumped by 12.7%, helping the e-commerce retailer to increase market share by 0.1 percentage points to 1.2%. 

Get in touch

Fraser McKevitt
Head of retail and consumer insight

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