January 8, 2019 / 8:00 AM / 11 days ago

UK's big supermarket chains lose ground to discounters -Nielsen

    LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Asda achieved the strongest sales
growth among Britain's big four supermarket chains in the
Christmas quarter, though all lost market share to discounters
Aldi             and Lidl, industry data showed on Tuesday.
    Researcher Nielsen said that sales at Walmart's
Asda, which has agreed to be taken over by bigger rival
Sainsbury's, rose 0.8 percent year on year in the 12
weeks to Dec. 29.
    Market leader Tesco chalked up a 0.4 percent
increase, but sales at Sainsbury's and Morrisons fell 0.6
percent and 0.1 percent respectively.
    In contrast, the Aldi and Lidl lifted sales by a hefty 11.7
percent and 13.6 percent respectively, taking their combined
market share to 13.9 percent. 
    Overall retail sales growth slowed to 1.8 percent in the
four weeks to Dec. 29, Nielsen said.
    "Consumer grocery shopping habits are changing, with
shoppers now opting to spend less on doing one big shop; instead
preferring more frequent, smaller trips to the supermarket,
spreading the cost across multiple retailers to increase
choice," said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer
insight.    
    Rival market researcher Kantar Worldpanel will also publish
supermarket sales data for the Christmas period on Tuesday.
Morrisons has also published its Christmas trading update and
Aldi provided its update on Monday.
    
 Market share and sales growth (percent)
                  12 wks to     12 wks to     pct change
                  Dec 29, 2018  Dec 30, 2017  in sales
 Tesco            27.0          27.5          0.4
 Sainsbury's      15.1          15.5          -0.6
 Asda             14.0          14.2          0.8
 Morrisons        9.9           10.2          -0.1
 Aldi             8.3           7.6           11.7
 Lidl             5.6           5.1           13.6
 Co-operative     4.6           4.6           2.6
 Waitrose         4.3           4.4           -1.0
 Marks & Spencer  3.5           3.6           0.4
 Iceland          2.3           2.3           3.5
 Source: Nielsen

    
 (Reporting by James Davey
Editing by David Goodman)
  
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