That is the finding of the latest ECR UK availability survey. The research, which covers the big four as well as Somerfield, Waitrose and The Co-operative Group, shows that the gap between the best and worst performers has narrowed.
ECR does not reveal individual performances, but for the third quarter of this year the retailer with the strongest availability achieved 97.2%. This was the high score of the best performer during the second quarter, while the level of availability achieved by the retailer with the lowest score rose from 94.7% to 95.5%.
The results support The Grocer 33 findings. Our last availability update had Morrisons in front with 98.3% for the year to June 2005. Somerfield had the lowest return with 94.6%, while Sainsbury (95.6%) was the worst of the big four but was improving its performance.
The Grocer is due to publish its next half-year availability survey on December 17.