Tesco and Asda have emerged as the strongest players in the crucial pre-Christmas shopping rush, while Kwiksave lost out, according to new market share data from Taylor Nelson AGB exclusive to Marketing Week. Tesco increased its till roll share of the total grocery market for the Christmas week ending December 22 to 24.2 per cent. Its share stood at 22.1 per cent for the equivalent Christmas week ending December 22 in 1996. Asda also pushed its share up, to 15.3 per cent from 14.7 over the same seven-day period in 1996. Till roll share includes all money taken at the checkout, but excludes extras like petrol sales and concessions. “Tesco and Asda are doing well because of the number of large stores they own – people tend to change habits and drive out to bigger stores at Christmas time,” says Allan Breese of Taylor Nelson AGB. Kwik Save’s share slipped in this crucial period – its market share was down to 4.9 per cent from 6.3 per cent for the same week in 1996. Sainsbury’s share was down slightly from 20.5 per cent in 1996 compared with 20.1 per cent for the same week in 1997, while Safeway’s share dropped from 9.7 per cent in 1996 to 9.1 per cent in 1997.