With Morrison’s falling profits news debated on the BBC this morning. Rarely has competition among the UK’s top retail brands been as fierce as it is these days. With cash-strapped consumers looking for possible ways to reduce costs, retailers’ sales volume and market share matter significantly.
According to new data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel, the biggest retailer Tesco lost ground to its closest rival over a 12-week period leading up to 18 March. Asda, known for holding the runner-up position in retail tables, has reached an all-time high market share of 17.9% in domestic grocery products, the new report shows.
This marked an annual growth of 7.8%, the highest among the big four. Asda now holds an overall market share of just under 4%. According to Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, the increase in market share can be attributed mainly to Asda taking over ex-Netto stores.
In comparison, Tesco’s growth rate stood at 2.7%, which eventually led to the brand losing market share, while the remaining two in the big four – Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – remained stable, with little change in market share from last year. These two brands reported growth rates of 4.1% and 3.4% over the period respectively.
Elsewhere, smaller-scale retailers saw the biggest gains in the grocery market, with Waitrose growing by 6.7%, Aldi by 28.5%, Lidl by 10.7% and Iceland recording a growth rate of 10.2%. Kantar Worldpanel measured grocery inflation at 5.5% and notes that consumers’ purchasing choices are still largely driven by special offers and deals.