Morrisons outperforms sector as discounters lose out

Morrisons continues to outperform the grocery sector as Aldi and Lidl lost share, according to the latest Kantar grocery market share figures.

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Morrisons, which has just appointed a new chief executive, Dalton Philips, saw its highest ever market share this month at 12.5%.

The chain also saw growth of 10.6% – more than double the average market growth rate of 5.2%.

Aldi and Lidl both lost market share during the 12-week period to 24 January, which indicates that some shoppers are turning away from discount retailers as consumer confidence improves.

During the period, Tesco stabilised its market share and benefited from its heavyweight seasonal marketing push with double Clubcard points and direct mail.

The campaign pressure on Asda, which saw its growth halt across the period.

Sainsbury’s also maintained a strong performance this month and has grown its share of the grocery market from 16.1% to 16.3% since last year.

Waitrose increased its market share to a record 4.1%.

The incorporation of the Somerfield chain by the Co-operative lifted the Co-op’s market share to 5.5% from 5.0% a year ago.

Edward Garner, communications director at Kantar Worldpanel, says: “This month’s figures show that the major retailers cannot afford to rest on their laurels in the post-festive period. In fact the battle for consumers’ share of wallet is hotting up and Asda has already responded to these results by rolling out a new coupon scheme across the UK national press.”

According to the latest figures by Nielsen, also out today, grocery sales slowed in January and the usual post Christmas lull was further depressed by the snow.

Mike Watkins, senior manager retailer services at Nielsen, says: “The post Christmas hangover was longer and deeper this year with snow and ice disrupting shopping patterns, resulting in less shopping trips being made. Many seasonal lines also came off promotion and this would have impacted sales. Retailers will need to encourage shoppers to keep spending over the next few weeks to lift momentum.”

The ‘big freeze’ also resulted in some “unusual shopping trends” such as a 128% increase in the salt sales and 185% increase in convenience stores. 

As shoppers stocked up and prepared to spend extra time at home, sales of tea (+10%), coffee (+8) and soup (+16%),  eggs (+33%), bacon +24%, sausages +33% and Hot Cereals +39% all leapt up.

As consumers worried about birds finding food, sales of bird food jumped up 73%.

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