Britain’s supermarkets are battling for market share in the most “tightly fought” sales race for 20 years according to Kantar Worldpanel, the consumer research organisation.
Reporting on the supermarket sector for the 12 weeks ending January 4, 2015, the company said that like-for-like prices have fallen by 0.9% due to lower commodity costs and an ongoing price war between the UK’s biggest retail chains.
“Competition between the grocers has been fierce and there is now a gap of just 0.9% sales growth separating the four largest retailers,” said Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt. “Such a tightly fought race is unprecedented in records dating back to 1994.”
While the bigger supermarkets continue to find the market tough, however, Kantar reports that Aldi and Lidl grew by 22.6% and 15.1% in 2014, to finish the year with market shares of 4.8% and 3.5% respectively.
Half of all British households visited at least one of the two discount retailers over the past 12 weeks. At the other end of the market, however, Waitrose maintained its strong run as sales rose 6.6% in 2014 to take its market share to 5.1%.