LONDON Dec 13 Tesco, Britain's biggest
supermarket group, saw its recovery gain momentum with a third
consecutive month of market share growth, industry data showed
Researcher Kantar Worldpanel said Tesco's sales rose 1.6
percent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to Dec. 4, taking its UK
market share to 28.3 percent from 28.0 percent this time last
Tesco, under boss Dave Lewis, has lowered prices, improved
product availability and bolstered customer service. Now, two
years after an accounting scandal plunged the firm into the
worst crisis in its 97-year history, it is pulling away from
rivals again. Its shares have increased 39 percent so far this
"Tesco's volume sales are growing faster than its value
sales, particularly in the meat and fresh produce categories,"
said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at
Conversely the other three major players in the sector -
Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons - saw
sales fall 0.6 percent, 4.7 percent and 1.4 percent respectively
and all lost market share.
Morrisons' fall is, however, partly explained by store
Discounters Aldi and Lidl saw growth
of 10.0 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.
Deflation was 0.1 percent over the period, Kantar said.
"Despite widespread anticipation of higher prices shoppers
are yet to feel the pinch of rising inflation," said McKevitt.
But he noted some categories are beginning to see price
increases, with fresh fish up 5.3 percent year-on-year, chilled
ready meals up 2.3 percent and beer up 2.1 percent.
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)