Tesco, Britain's largest retailer, was the only one of the country's big four grocers to grow sales in the last 12 weeks, increasing its sector dominance in the run-up to Christmas, the latest data from market researcher NielsenIQ has revealed.
It said Tesco's sales rose 0.4% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 6 November, increasing its market share by 0.2 percentage points to 26.6%.
In contrast smaller rivals Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons saw sales fall 3.1%, 2.4% and 4.7% respectively, and all lost market share.
NielsenIQ's data echoed figures from rival researcher Kantar last week.
Last month, Tesco reported a 16.6% jump in first half profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast despite supply chain disruption.
The company also commenced a programme to buy back shares with a value of up to £500 million (€593 million). Citigroup will repurchase shares on its behalf and in accordance with the arrangement. Any purchases made during closed periods, shall be made 'independently' and 'uninfluenced by the company,' it added.
UK Grocery Sales
NielsenIQ said total UK grocery sales fell 2.0% in the four weeks to 6 November versus high comparative numbers ahead of a second national COVID-19 lockdown last year.
Sales were, however, up 4.9% on the same period in 2019.
The researcher noted that in-store visits to supermarkets were up 6.5% compared with last year over the four week period, equal to 28 million more visits.
In contrast, the online share of sales fell to 12.2%, down from 12.6% in the previous four weeks.