UK supermarkets show signs of a healthy fight

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 17, 2007

UK supermarkets show signs of a healthy fight

In the UK, the main competitors in the grocery retail sector continue to fight for top rankings in terms of market share, with Tesco leading the field against a backdrop of falling sales figures from High Street retailers, according to TNS Worldpanel's UK supermarket sales data for the 12 weeks up to 25th March 2007.

According to Edward Garner, TNS Worldpanel's director of research, "The latest grocery market share figures again show the buoyancy of the grocery sector in stark contrast to some of the tales of woe emanating from the rest of the High Street."

Grocery retailer March 2006 share of grocery March 2007 share of grocery % point change Tesco 30.6% 31.2% +0.6 Asda 16.3% 16.9% +0.6 Sainsbury's 16.0% 16.4% +0.4 Morrisons/Safeway 11.3% 11.1% -0.2 Somerfield 4.0% 3.7% -0.3 Waitrose 3.7% 3.9% +0.2 All others 18.1% 16.8% -1.3 Figure 1: UK grocery market shares March 2007Source: TNS Worldpanel

Market analysis Both Asda and Sainsbury posted strong year-on-year growth (9% and 8% respectively). Perhaps surprisingly, these are both now ahead of Tesco's growth rate, although Tesco is still comfortably ahead of the market in terms of overall grocery market share and has a growth rate of 7%.

Between them, the top three supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury's) have added 1.6 percentage points of market share over the past year. In addition, good growth continues at Waitrose (with its market share being up 0.2 percentage points).

Morrisons has shown overall turnover growth for the eleventh successive period, although it is still slightly behind the 'all grocers' rate. The company's recently announced business review may have been intended to help lift this growth.

According to Garner, there are also signs that Somerfield is coming under increased pressure as its market share declined by 0.3 percentage points for a second successive period.

 Figure 2: UK grocery market shares Apr '06 - Mar '07Source: TNS Worldpanel

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