For the first time on record, the British grocery market declined 0.2% compared to last year, as price competition intensifies.
Retailers still seeing encouraging results are Aldi, with year-on-year sales up 25.5%, Lidl up 16.8% and at the higher end of the market, Waitrose, seeing a 5.6% sales increase.
The figures, from Kantar Worldpanel, are published today and account for the 12 weeks ending 9 November 2014.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel said: “The declining grocery market will be of concern to retailers as they gear up for the key Christmas trading season. The fight for a bigger share of sales has ignited a price war, which means an average basket of everyday goods, such as milk, bread and vegetables, now costs 0.4% less than it did this time last year. This is bad news for retailers, but good news for shoppers, with price deflation forecast to continue well into 2015.”
It would seem the big four are still struggling in the current grocery climate, but Asda has recorded the best performance. Its sales have fallen in line with the overall market (0.2%) and its share has held steady at 17.2%.
After the recent and ongoing crisis at Tesco, sales are down 3.7%, but the rate at which it is losing market share has slowed. The supermarket giant now holds 28.7% of the market, compared to last year’s 29.8% market share.
In terms of grocery inflation, there has been a 14th successive fall, and it now stands at -0.4% for the 12-week period ending 9 November 2014, according to Kantar Worldpanel.