Retail report is good for Morrisons, while discounters keep growing

New retail market figures include good news for Morrisons, who record the largest sales increase among the ‘big four’ supermarkets for the second month in a row, although the overall market for the 12 weeks to June 21 has slipped back into decline, with 0.1% less going through the tills compared to last year.

Published by Kantar Worldpanel, the new figures reveal a sales growth of 0.6% for Morrisons, supported by an increase in online shopping. Meanwhile, discounters Aldi and Lidl show “no signs of slowing down” as they “continue to take share away from the competition”.

Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt, said that in continuing to grow ahead of the market, Morrisons has increased its market share to 11%. Although just 0.1% up on a year ago, this is the chain’s first market share gain since December 2011.

“The return to marginal decline across the grocery market (in general) reflects both falling prices and only steady volume growth,” he added. “Sales volumes are up 2% compared to a year ago but are not anticipated to accelerate, even with an improving economy, as demand for groceries has remained broadly steady since before the recession.”

Groceries are now 1.7% cheaper than a year ago with prices having been falling since September 2014. The rate of decline is slowing, however, and prices are now “projected to rise again by the end of this year”.

Kantar also report that sales fell by 1.3% at both Tesco and Sainsbury’s, taking their market shares down to 28.6% and 16.5% respectively. Asda sales were down by 3.5%, leaving the retailer with a 16.5% share, while Co-operative sales remained “flat”.

“Aldi and Lidl showed no signs of slowing down and are continuing to take share away from the competition,” said Kantar. “The two discounters increased their sales by 15.4% and 9.1% respectively, with Aldi reaching a new high of 5.5% while Lidl rose to 3.9%.

“Waitrose also grew ahead of the market, with sales increasing by 1.2%, moving to a 5.1% share.”

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