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In Britain, Asda Converts Economic Crisis To Sales Growth
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In Britain, Asda Converts Economic Crisis To Sales Growth

Despite the tough economic climate, British value retailer Asda is thriving.

According to Nielsen, the chain increased its market share from 14.9% a year ago to 15.6% during the last quarter — the retailer’s highest ever market share, aside from the Christmas 2007 season.

Asda’s performance (8.7% sales growth) during the most recent 12-week period ending November 1, 2008 easily bested the rest of the British grocery market, Nielsen reported Tuesday.  The chain showed especially strong growth during October, when the global financial crisis reached a boiling point.

Growth (by value) of food sales at British supermarkets continued to slow during the most recent 12-week period, dipping to 5.1%, versus the same period in 2007, according to Nielsen.

During the previous 12-week period ending October 4, food sales growth was slightly stronger in Britain (5.4%), despite especially weak September sales growth (4.5%).

“The topline growths at the Multiples are slowing, when they should, in fact, be accelerating,” Mike Watkins, senior manager, retailer services, Nielsen, noted.  “It’s looking like a tough Christmas ahead for food retailers.”

Among the top UK food retailers, Tesco remained the dominant value retailer, with a 28.1% share of grocery market spending during 12-week period ending November 1, 2008 — up 0.1% over the chain’s 28.0% share of value sales during the same period last year.

Morrisons continued to grow by more than 9% year over year for the quarter, but in the most recent four weeks, the chain’s growth dropped to under 7% year over year.

Rank

(by share

of grocery sales)

Retailers Share of Grocery Sales:

12 Weeks Ending

Nov. 3, 2007

Share of Grocery Sales:

12 Weeks Ending

Nov. 1, 2008

% Change:

Value Sales

1 Tesco 28.0% 28.1% 4.0%
2 Asda 14.9% 15.6% 8.7%
3 Sainsbury 14.1% 14.1% 3.4%
4 Morrisons 9.8% 10.3% 9.1%
5 Co-op 6.2% 6.1% 1.6%
6 Waitrose 3.4% 3.3% 0.3%
7 M&S 3.8% 3.6% -0.7%
8 Somerfield 3.5% 3.4% 0.3%
9 Iceland 1.6% 1.8% 13.7%
Source: The Nielsen Company (August 11 – November 3, 2007 and August 9 – November 1, 2008).

View the press release.