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British Shoppers Follow Bargains
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British Shoppers Follow Bargains

UK grocery sales grew at 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009 over the same period a year earlier, according to new research from Nielsen, with Morrisons leading the pack with 6.9 percent growth, followed closely by Asda with 6.7 percent and Sainsbury with 5 percent.  Tesco continued to lose market share, falling to 27.6 percent from 28 percent in the same period in 2008.  So what may be driving consumers to change where they shop?

“Shoppers are now well versed with money saving strategies, making the most of price cuts and promotions with many also opting for retailer own labels, where growth is almost 6 percent,” said Mike Watkins, Senior Manager, Retailer Services at Nielsen.

To further extend the buying reach of their pounds and pence, shoppers are:

  • Continuing to reduce the number of times they shop for groceries, with the average number of visits falling at all major retailers (except the Co-op)
  • Shopping around for the best values versus staying with their regular retailer
  • Shopping for small amounts more often

“Morrisons, Asda and now Sainsbury have pulled away from Tesco in terms of sales growth and are all attracting new shoppers.  Once in store, picking and choosing the best bargains, combined with overall shopper caution, has caused the amount that the average shopper spent in supermarkets over the last quarter to be lower than it was a year ago, Asda and Morrisons being the only exceptions,” said Watkins.

Read the full press release about first quarter 2009 UK grocery sales here.