The Big Four supermarkets in the country, which includes Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's, are struggling to retain their market share. This is as per the latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel, an international company dealing in consumer knowledge and insights based on continuous consumer panels.
According to Kantar's report published on Wednesday (1 June), sales at the Big Four supermarkets declined for the period of 12 weeks ending 22 May 2016. While sales at Sainsbury's declined by 1.2% in this period, Tesco witnessed just a 1% fall. Sales at Morrisons declined by 2.1% while Asda suffered a 5.1% tumble, the report said. The comparisons were made with the corresponding period a year ago.
With regards to Sainsbury's, Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "[The low sales] has been driven by a decline in pack sales, which is the short-term result of shifting its promotional emphasis from multi-pack deals to straightforward price cuts." With regards to Asda and Morrisons, Garner explained: "Asda's low-price positioning continues to feel the targeted effect of Aldi and Lidl's growth — sales fell 5.1% on last year giving it a 15.8% share of the market, while Morrisons continues to be affected by store disposals."
However, he added that though the Big Four were struggling with their sales, it was clear that consumers were still visiting their stores. "Their combined shopper numbers have dropped only 0.2% in the latest 12 weeks. In fact, 94% of Aldi and Lidl shoppers still visit at least one of the four major retailers every four weeks."
While the report said Lidl and Aldi posted sales growth of 14.2% and 11.4% respectively, Garner said: "Consumers' spend is increasingly being shared with other growing outlets which also include Waitrose, the Co-operative and Iceland and average household spend for the Big Four has dropped by 2.9%."
While Waitrose grew sales by 2.1% during the 12-week period, the Co-operative achieved a sales growth of 3.3% for the second period in a row. The gains have helped Waitrose secure a record share of the grocery market of 5.3%, while the Co-operative has managed to achieve a market share of 6.3%.