The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show the UK grocery market to be essentially flat, with a value growth of 0.1% in the 12 weeks ending 22 May.
Taking into account the deflationary environment for food in the UK, which remained at 1.5% for the period, this is a positive performance for retailers in the UK, although the major players continue to struggle in sales.
The UK big four - Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons, have all seen sales decline in the period. Asda took the biggest hit with a 5.1% decline compared to the same period last year. Since this time last year, Asda has lost 0.8% in market share.
Morrisons and Sainsbury's also took a hit in sales, however Tesco, at a decline of 1%, appears to be showing signs of stabilising after a disastrous couple of years for the grocer.
Despite the sales drop, Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel says the bigger retailers have mostly been able to hold on to its customer base. "While the big four are struggling to keep their market share what’s clear is that consumers aren’t flocking away from their stores – their combined shopper numbers have dropped only 0.2% in the latest 12 weeks.
"In fact, 94% of Aldi and Lidl shoppers still visit at least one of the four major retailers every four weeks. However, consumers’ spend is increasingly being shared with other growing outlets which also include Waitrose, the Co-operative and Iceland and average household spend for the big four has dropped by 2.9%.”
Discounters Aldi and Lidl continue to grow their sales, up 11.4% and 14.2% respectively. Upmarket retailer Waitrose also continued its strong showing, growing sales by 2.1% to gain a market share of 5.3%, up 0.1% from last year and its highest ever.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by John Golden. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.