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Sainsbury’s sales growth leads the top four UK supermarkets
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Sainsbury’s sales growth leads the top four UK supermarkets

The early May bank holiday and accompanying good weather were enough to offset a lacklustre middle part of the month for food and drink sales at the UK’s leading supermarkets, according to the latest retailer performance figures released today by  Nielsen. 

Aggregate sales value growth for the UK’s leading supermarkets during the four weeks ending 25 May 2013 was +2.8%* year-on-year. For the previous four-week period (ending 27 April 2013), year-on-year sales value growth was down -1.4%*. Unit sales (volume) increased +0.2%* year-on-year, compared to

-3.0%* year-on-year during the previous four weeks.

The sales decreases for the four-week period ending 27 April 2013 reflect that Easter didn’t fall within those four weeks, as it did in the comparative four weeks last year (four weeks ending 28 April 2012).

Explaining the figures, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins: “The recent four week reporting period was a tale of two halves. The first two weeks and the better weather saw strong growths, while the middle of May saw slowing growths compared to the same period in 2012 with its warm weather.

“Spend on offer fell to 33% of sales, and while this is still high, retailers are using multiple tactics to encourage shopper loyalty including couponing and vouchering, everyday low price and loyalty card initiatives, as well as in store promotions.”

The strongest category growths were in Produce (+7% value year-on-year), Bakery (+5.5%) and Delicatessen (+4.4%) with General Merchandise tracking at +2.3%. The weakest growths were in Frozen (-1.8%) and Soft Drinks (-1.6%).

Commenting on retailer performance, Watkins notes: “Sainsbury’s continues to lead the top four supermarkets in terms of sales growths so their market share has increased over the last 12 weeks. Waitrose also grew share, to 4.5%. However, the fastest growing food retailer continues to be Aldi with a +25% increase in sales. With continued high levels of advertising, Aldi is one of the few retailers consistently able to attract significantly more new shoppers.”

Table: 12-Weekly % share of grocery market spend by retailer and value sales % change

  % share, 12 weeks to % share, 12 weeks to % sales change vs. same 12 weeks year ago
  4141900.0% 4105500.0%  
TESCO 28.3% 28.5% 3.3%
SAINSBURY 16.1% 16.0% 4.9%
ASDA 16.0% 16.4% 1.8%
MORRISONS 11.0% 11.3% 1.3%
CO-OPERATIVE 6.9% 7.2% 0.5%
WAITROSE 4.5% 4.2% 11.6%
MARKS AND SPENCER 3.6% 3.5% 6.4%
ALDI 2.9% 2.4% 25.2%
LIDL 2.1% 2.0% 6.6%
ICELAND 2.0% 1.9% 4.8%

The figures in the table are based on 12 weeks sales through to 25 May 2013 compared with the same 12 week period ending in 2012

Source: Nielsen Total Till, Nielsen Homescan