Supermarket sales in June were kept buoyant by warm summer weather and the spending attraction of major sporting events. Since the beginning of April, total till sales have increased by 5%, with sales at the grocery multiples showing 8% growth in the latest two weeks (source Scantrack).

Results from ACNielsen Homescan for the 12 weeks to 17 June confirm that the winners on Tradetrak continue to be Tesco and Waitrose, which are both growing sales at up to 10%. Asda and Sainsbury remain neck and neck for runner up, with market shares of 15.6% and 14.9% .

Almost 12 million households visited each of these chains at least once since Easter, but it is Asda that has regained share in recent weeks. It remains ahead on spend per visit, in part due to the larger stores in its estate, while at Sainsbury it is the like-for-like growth that is driving sales. Holding share over the next six months will be the challenge for Asda should its business continue to grow.

Mike Watkins, senior manager for ­retailer services at ACNielsen, comments: "Sainsbury's market share is up on this time last year. However, in the past couple of months and after a poor start to the year and a strong Easter, Asda has once more started to gain share. Never­theless, it is still two percentage points behind Sainsbury in terms of current sales growth." He adds: "Tesco is pushing the market growth due to its scale and is adding new selling space the fastest, so everything else needs to be looked at in this context."

Another recovering retailer is The ­Co-operative Group, which has built a strong proposition based on locality and convenience. Together with United Co-operatives, another large society with a clear strategy to drive penetration in c-stores, they account for around two thirds of all Co-op sales. The Co-operative Group food sales are growing again and, as a result, total Co-op share of trade has increased from 6.1% to 6.3% over the latest 12 weeks.

For the next few weeks non food, soft drinks, fresh food and beer and wine will continue to drive sales for retailers and this will help to compensate for the 1.5%, and slowing, underlying growth in grocery since the start of the year.

Now that the key sporting events of the summer are coming to a climax, the shopper may think it's all over. And it could be for many retailers as the peak holiday season approaches and market growth and shopping trips return to normal. n

Source:  ACNielsen Homescan. Based on all purchases brought home from any outlet by an in-home scanning panel of 10,000+ households. Total spend includes all items stocked, including durables and clothing. Grocery only spend includes food and household goods.