While it is still much too early to assess how the new Morrisons group will perform, the fact that more than a third of all shoppers now visit one or other of the fascias demonstrates that there is a big opportunity to develop the range further and the shopping experience as well as reduce prices on a selection of the products.

With the top four food retailers fully engaged in using low prices or price reductions in their battle for the hearts and wallets of the consumer, it is interesting to see how the retailers’ market shares compare with shopper penetration over the past four weeks.
Tesco has once more increased its market share and passed the 27% share mark of all food, drink and non-food purchased in supermarkets.
Asda is still nearly 10% points behind the market leader with a market share of 17.7% and currently is unlikely to close this gap.
However, when you look beneath the thin veneer of low prices in the UK, ACNielsen research consistently shows that the most important reasons influencing people’s choice of where to shop are value for money, at 35% of households, and quality fresh foods for 17% of households [Source: Homescan Survey 2003].
A convenient location is now the third most important reason in consumers choice of where to shop, at 11% of households, and the lowest prices are important to just 5% of households in the United Kingdom.
Mike Watkins, ACNielsen’s manager of retailer services, says: “As Tesco and Sainsbury continue to buy market share in the fast-changing secondary and convenience sectors, we can expect an increase in shoppers using these smaller store formats.
“There will be more frequent visits and bigger basket spends as wider and fresh food ranges are progressively introduced into these top-up shops,” he adds.
From the analyses of shopping patterns it is clear that a third of all households are, in fact, high street shoppers.
The continued success of Waitrose can be gauged from an average spend per visit of about £25 and an above average spend per household.
This suggests that there is still business to be won by regional retailers that have less than a 5% share of the market and a range and proposition that offer something different to the shopper.