Sainsbury’s has grown market share while others in the big four contracted

Sainsbury’s was the only supermarket among the big four to increase its market share in the past 12 weeks, according to the latest share data from Kantar Worldpanel.

As Waitrose and the discounters continued their strong growth, Sainsbury’s increased its market share from 16.4% a year ago to 16.5% in the 12 weeks to 18 August. It also notched up sales growth of 4.9% during the period.

Its performance was in sharp contrast to Tesco, which despite growing sales by 2%, saw its market share fall from 30.9% a year ago to 30.2%. Asda’s market share also fell – from 17.5% to 17.1%, while Morrisons was down from 11.5% to 11.3%.

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“Sainsbury’s has continued to grow ahead of the market over the past 12 weeks, achieving sales growth of 4.9%,” said Kantar Worldpanel director John Coll. “It benefitted from its support of the Paralympics last year and its growth has continued since then.”

Away from the big four, The Co-operative Group, which will unveil its interim results tomorrow, increased sales by just 0.1% during the 12 weeks. However, its market share fell from 6.8% to 6.6% year-on-year.

It means that Aldi and Lidl, which have record market shares of 3.7% and 3.1% respectively, now have a combined share larger than The Co-op.

“Aldi and Lidl maintain a record market share for the discount sector at 6.8%, with respective shares of 3.7% and 3.1% as some consumers continue to adapt their shopping strategies as pressure on wallets continue,” Coll added.

Waitrose, meanwhile, chalked up sales growth of 9.1% and increased its market share from 4.6% to 4.8%.

Figures published by Nielsen today showed that Sainsbury’s alone among the big four held onto its market share, with sales up 5.1%.

Nielsen also found that the average spend per visit across discounters such as Aldi and Lidl had now reached £16, compared with the £20 average spend per visit at the leading supermarkets.

Looking ahead to September, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said: “With shop price inflation anticipated to stay around +3% and consumers remaining cautious on spending – but still willing to purchase affordable indulgences – regular promotional activity will remain key to increasing sales in the absence of any seasonal events.”