Sainsbury is still the biggest loser in market share year-on-year but the company is hoping new availability initiatives and a back to basics' strategy will help reverse its fortunes.
According to our TradeTrak survey from ACNielsen, Sainsbury is down 0.7% year-on-year. Its annual results last month revealed like-for-like sales, including petrol, up just 2.3%, well behind market leader Tesco which reported a 4.1% increase. Tesco continues to show the biggest rise in market share, up 0.4% year-on- year ­ the same as Asda.
Speaking as he unveiled the results Sainsbury MD Stuart Mitchell said better availability on fresh produce was a top priority. The retailer unveiled pre-tax profit up 10.8% to £695m.
Another thrust of the business is the burgeoning convenience sector, with Sainsbury announcing plans to open 100 more stores on Shell forecourts over the next three years. According to the company 11 of its top 20 stores by sales per sq ft are Locals and three of these on Shell forecourts.
ACNielsen's Mike Watson recommends keeping an eye on the company.
"As retail sales begin to slow, the grocery marketplace looks like its starting to consolidate around Tesco and Asda. But don't overlook Sainsbury ­ business growth will gain momentum once the Safeway position is clarified and the internal change programme starts to pay dividends."
Favoured Safeway bidder Morrisons revealed impressive sales figures at its annual meeting, also last month. Like-for-like sales in the 14 weeks to May 11 were up 8.4% with petrol and 6.9% without.
Its market share is up 0.1% year-on-year, according to the ACNielsen research.