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Sainsbury's and Asda lag behind big four rivals for sales growth

New figures on the grocery market for the 12 weeks to 22 April show that Sainsbury’s and Asda had respective market shares of 15.9% and 15.5% although they lagged behind their big four rivals in terms of sales growth. This means if their proposed merger goes ahead, the two supermarkets could have a combined potential market share of 31.4%.


Sainsbury's and Asda lag behind big four rivals for sales growth

The figures from Kantar Wordpanel reveal that Sainsbury’s increased its sales by 0.2% in the 12 weeks while Asda’s sales rose by 1.4%.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “This is a pivotal moment for the British grocery market. A merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda would transform the traditional landscape placing nearly a third of market share in the hands of the joint supermarket giant, though the march of the discounters – and any enforced store closures – could impact this figure.

“The two supermarkets appeal to different customer bases. Asda achieves nearly two-thirds of its sales outside London and the south east of England in contrast to Sainsbury’s, which registers 59% of its sales in those two areas. Sainsbury’s also appeals to more affluent shoppers (ABC1): this demographic accounted for 62% of all sales at Sainsbury’s in comparison to 46% of sales at Asda. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s premium own-label line ‘Taste the Difference’ clocked up sales of £832 million annually – nearly two and a half times the size of Asda’s ‘Extra Special’ range.”

Kantar Worldpanel’s figures reveal that 15.8 million households bought their groceries at Asda over the 12 weeks, which is 500,000 more than for Sainsbury’s. However, Kantar found a a substantial number of customers were visiting both retailers.

Looking at the rest of the big four supermarkets, Morrisons was the fastest-growing traditional supermarket with sales growth of 2.2% and a market share at 10.5%. Meanwhile, Tesco grew its sales by 2.1% which meant its market share was 27.6%.

With sales rising by 9.1%, Lidl became the UK’s fastest-growing bricks-and-mortar supermarket. It upped its market share by 0.4 percentage points compared to this time last year to reach 5.4%. Aldi’s sales increased by 7.7%, thereby taking its market share to 7.3%.

Sales at both Iceland and Waitrose edged up 0.2% which meant they had respective market shares of 2.1% and 5.1% in the period.

With the disposal of 300 McColl’s stores still impacting headline performance, Co-op saw its sales fall by 0.4% as its market share edged down 0.1 percentage point to 6%. In contrast, Ocado’s sales jumped by 12.7% to help the online retailer increase its market share to 1.2%.

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