Big four supermarkets see sales slide

The grocery market continues to struggle, with the big four supermarkets all suffering a drop in sales for the 12 weeks to 24 April, and Asda faring the worst according to Kantar Worldpanel. 

According to Kantar Worldpanel data, Asda suffered particularly heavily, with sales down 5.1% on last year. The remaining three largest supermarkets also saw a decline in sales – Morrisons by 2.6%, Tesco by 1.3% and Sainsbury’s by 0.4%.

Kantar suggested Morrisons was still suffering the effect of a reduction in store space, with the supermarket having disposed of 21 underperforming stores, as well as its 140-strong M Local convenience store venture, both in the last financial year. It only opened one new store in the same period.

Although the market showed only 0.1% growth, Waitrose and The Co-operative did manage to grow sales on last year, and both posted steady growth figures of 1.5% and 3.3%, respectively. However, Aldi and Lidl continued to outshine the competition, growing sales 12.5% and 15.4%, respectively, and holding on to their combined market share of over 10%.

Golden period

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Consumers are enjoying a golden period of cheaper groceries, with like-for-like prices falling every month since September 2014.

“Yet lower prices are not the result of more groceries being bought on promotion. In fact promotional levels fell in the last year – in the past 12 weeks 38.5% of spend was on promoted goods, a decline from the 39.8% last April. 

“Retailers are aiming for simplicity in their pricing and only a quarter of promotional spend is now through multibuy deals – a 24% drop on last year.”

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