Grocery sales bounce lifts Tesco

Tesco’s turnaround plan is showing signs of working as industry data shows its sales performance improving in a month when the supermarket sector registers growth at a rate almost twice the previous period.


Despite continuing to lose share, top-rated Tesco is showing signs of recovering month on month market share losses with a smaller fall in its share from 31.1% to 30.9% year-on-year. Sales grew 3.4%, Kantar says, up markedly on the 0.7% registered a month earlier.

Tesco unveiled several initiatives, including improving marketing, to reverse flagging UK sales in April.

Sector sales grew by 3.9% as customers took advantage of the lowest price inflation rate for 18 months, compared to 2.1% previously, according to new figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The boost coincides with better weather and the opening week of the Olympics, but it is too early to gauge a direct correlation, says Kantar.

The ‘big four’ top supermarkets all performed strongly, with biggest growth at Asda and Sainsbury’s with jumps of 6.2% and 4.6% respectively. 

Strongest growth continues to come from the ‘value’ end of the market, with own label lines such as Tesco Everyday Value and Sainsbury’s Basics growing at 13%, while premium lines are falling 4% year-on-year.

This trend has helped value retailers Aldi and Lidl continue to record double-digit growth, seeing a big 26% jump at the former and a healthy 11.8% rise at the latter.

At the other end of the price spectrum, Waitrose has grown by 7.4% – a considerable uplift on the relatively weak 4.8% growth posted last period.

The latest figures reveal ‘things are starting to look-up’ says Kantar Worldpanel retail analyst Fraser McKevitt. “Shoppers might not yet notice it at the tills, but they are starting to benefit from lower grocery inflation,” he adds.

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