Hard discounter Netto was the only chain to steal any trade (£4m) from Tesco, which picked up a whopping £146m of business from Sainsbury and £133m from arch-rival Asda in the year to February 27, according to TNS.
While Netto was not a major thorn in Tesco’s side, the fact that suppliers have been told that Tesco is keeping a close watch on the deals that are offered to Netto was a sign of how seriously Tesco takes any competition, said TNS Superpanel communications director Ed Garner. “This data just underlines the complete dominance of Tesco in the grocery market.
“But it also shows that Sainsbury is starting to recover a little, although some of the £82m it took from Morrisons/Safeway over the year will be due to picking up Safeway stores.”
However, the real story in the data, aside from Tesco’s dominance, was the slowdown at Asda, he claimed.
While Asda grabbed an impressive £117m worth of trade from rivals over the period, this was significantly less than the £272m it stole last year, according to Garner.
“A year ago, Asda only lost £32m to Tesco. This year it’s £133m. While Asda is still performing well, its growth appears to have slowed down a bit lately.”
Charles Stanley analyst Simon Proctor said: “Asda has gone off the boil. It’s as if it has taken its foot off the pedal. Apart from anything else, Tesco has been so successful in acquiring new sites.”
Fitch Ratings senior analyst Jonathan Pitkänen added: “It does look like they haven’t been able to capitalise on their rivals’ problems as much as Tesco.
“However, the landbank is the key issue for Asda.
“They are doing pretty well on a like-for-like basis, as far we can gather, but they are running out of land.”
His comments came as the latest ACNielsen data revealed Tesco now has almost 30% of the UK grocery market, notching up a 29.9% share of total till roll in the 12 weeks to February 19 and a 29.3% share in food.