Safeway has moved to reassure investors after press reports claimed unfavourable market share data from Taylor Nelson Sofres was evidence that shoppers were spurning the supermarket. Safeway stock dropped 2.3% to 369p on Monday as investors learned that in the last 12 weeks its market share rose just 2.3% on the same period last year, against a 6.2% market average. Rivals Tesco and Asda reported growth of 12% and 8.1% respectively. Safeway said it was no surprise it lagged behind competitors because it was opening fewer stores and was preoccupied with major refurbishment. One analyst said: "Underlying sales growth remains strong and in the midst of refurb programmes, disruption is disproportionately severe. On a wider till roll basis, the sales growth looks more favourable." Several analysts said the Retailer Share Track figures quoted were "the least flattering available". The data does not include non food or other selected items. Many brokers prefer to use more comprehensive till roll data. {{NEWS }}

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