Asda has lost its crown as the UK's leading retailer of low-cost clothing, according to new data, with Primark boosting its market share over the past year to take top spot.

Figures from Verdict show the market share for the supermarket giant's George brand remained largely static over the past 12 months at 16.94%.

Meanwhile, Primark – which is owned by Associated British Foods – saw its market share increase from 16.5% to 17.7% over the same period. Tesco climbed to third place after overtaking TK Maxx, which slips to fourth.

Verdict said that sales growth in the sector had slowed considerably in recent years and that sales could fall in 2009.

"The £8.8bn value market has been the engine of the UK clothing market over the past decade but growth has slowed significantly over the past two years and in 2003-2008 growth was half that of the previous five years," said Verdict in its report, UK Value Clothing Retailers 2008.

Last November, George Davies, the former Asda designer that launched the UK's first supermarket clothing range, announced he was quitting his role as part-time chairman of the Marks & Spencer per una range.