Tesco and Morrisons have both lost more than 3% of their market share

Aldi and Lidl are still gaining ground, while Asda has dug its heels in and Waitrose is sitting pretty.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 08 Jul 2014

There’s a lot around that has made for grim reading for Tesco boss Philip Clarke and his Morrisons counterpart Dalton Philips lately, and the latest supermarket market share data from Kantar Worldpanel is no different.

To wit: Tesco’s sales fell 3.1% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to May 25, dragging its market share down from 30.5% to 29%. That was the largest decline in 14 years and could mean Britain’s biggest supermarket is losing as many as 1 million customers a week, despite investing more than £200m in price cuts, according to HSBC analyst David McCarthy.

Perhaps the only (weak) ray of sunshine for Philip Clarke in those sorry figures is that investors won’t be expecting much from Tesco’s dreaded trading update tomorrow. Shares fell 1.15% today, so may not take as much of a hit tomorrow if results are even worse than expected.

Morrisons also appears to be fighting a losing battle, despite a high-profile ad campaign to mark slashing the price of 1,200 products. The Bradford-based supermarket’s sales fell 3.9% year-on-year in the period, cutting its market share from 11.6% to 10.9%.

Sainsbury’s, whose chief exec Justin King is speaking at MT Live at the end of this month before he departs in July, saw a 0.9% drop in sales, taking its market share from 16.7% to 16.5%. In contrast, price cuts seemed to pay off for Asda, the last of the ‘Big Four’: sales were up 2.4%, while its market share inched up 0.1% to 17.1%.

Waitrose, meanwhile, is cuddling its middle class customers ever closer, growing sales 6.1% year-on-year and maintaining its record 5.1% market share from the previous quarter.

The big winners, however, were the perky German discounters. Aldi’s sales leapt 35.9%, while Lidl’s revenues rocketed by 22.7%, and their market shares of 4.7% and 3.6% respectively were both at record highs.

If Clarke and Philips are scratching their heads wondering what else they can do to fend off their nimbler, lower-priced rivals, they’d better think fast. Investors have only got so much patience.

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