Supermarket share grab

Tesco continues its comeback and shows best sales growth for three years

BRITAIN’S biggest multiple grocer Tesco has recorded its best year-on-year sales figures for over three years, according to Nielsen retail performance data released last month.

And Kantar Worldpanel also showed the huge supermarket chain returning to growth.

Both researchers also found the overall grocery market achieving sales growth, though many of the other giant grocers are said still to be in decline.

Two in every three UK shoppers used Tesco in the four weeks to 8 October, found research company Nielsen.

Kantar Worldpanel continued to show sales dropping at independent and symbol stores. And both firms suggested the major discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to increase sales substantially.

The Nielsen figures for the 12 weeks to 8 October 2016, said Tesco had 1.4% higher sales than the same period the year before – its best performance since September 2013.

But Tesco was the only one of the big four multiple grocers to see a year-on-year increase. Sainsbury’s was down 0.6%, Morrisons dropped by 3.2% and the long-running slump at Asda continued, with sales crashing 5.1%.

Nielsen found Aldi had grown sales by more than 13% compared to the previous year and Lidl was up 4.1%.

It also found the Co-op, Waitrose, Iceland, and Marks & Spencer grew grocery sales by between 3.5% and just over 5%.

Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks to 9 October recorded almost identical figures for the big four with Tesco up and the others down. And other stores were also similar, although it recorded higher growth at Lidl.

But once again it suggested independents and symbols had very poor results, down by 7.4% year on year.

The survey measures take-home purchases, however, so is unlikely to reflect c-store sales for on-the-go consumption.