Slow growth leaves retailers deflated
Although there are some share winners this month, the overall year-on-year growth rate for all the major retailers has now dropped to a pre-recession low of 3.6%. This slowdown coincides with the continued fall in inflation this month from 2.4% in February to 1.8% in March.
Fraser McKevitt, Retail Analyst at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “We can see the dramatic fall in inflation by comparing this month’s figure to March 2009 when inflation was running at 9.1%. While this has had a dampening effect on retailer growth, lower inflation brings benefits to consumers and the latest figures suggest that shoppers are taking advantage of slower grocery price increases by trading up to more expensive lines such as Tesco Finest.
Despite a 2% fall in year-on-year growth since February, Morrisons has continued to perform ahead of the pack, increasing sales by 7.8% and gaining share of the grocery market by 0.5%. This growth in market share is slightly ahead of Waitrose which has gained an admirable 0.3% share by being the fastest growing retailer at 14.1% against last year.
Sainsbury’s, which is growing at 4.6%, has also maintained its strong run, taking a 0.2% increase in market share. This strong performance can be partially attributed to the ongoing expansion of existing Sainsbury’s premises and the opening of new stores. Tesco also gained 0.2% in market share on the back of slightly slower growth of 4.1%.
Asda, growing at 2.7%, find their market share coming under pressure with a loss of 0.2% as they face strong comparatives from last year when they were growing at over 8%. The Discounters continue to languish behind the market with both Lidl and Aldi experiencing loss of market share. As yet they are seeing no return to the heady double digit growth experienced in 2009.
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