Sainsbury’s sales grow ahead of big four rivals

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Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s was the only “big four” grocer to grow sales in the past three months, according to the latest snapshot of consumer spending.

Researcher Kantar Worldpanel said sales at the firm, which last month predicted its full-year profits would come in ahead of City forecasts, grew 1.1 per cent in the 12 weeks to 11 October, ahead of overall growth of 0.8 per cent for the sector as a whole.

Sainsbury's sales grew ahead of the wider grocery market. Picture: Andrew Parsons/PA

Sainsbury's sales grew ahead of the wider grocery market. Picture: Andrew Parsons/PA

Asda, which is scaling back the roll-out of its “click and collect” scheme as it seeks to cut costs, suffered the worst performance among the UK’s major supermarkets, with sales 3 per cent lower than a year ago, while Morrisons’ takings were down 1 per cent and market leader Tesco – which earlier this month said its first-half profits had more than halved – witnessed a 1.7 per cent decline.

With discount grocers continuing to put a squeeze on the established chains, Lidl’s sales jumped 17.9 per cent, while fellow German retailer Aldi was close behind with a 17.6 per cent surge.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said the supermarket price war “shows no signs of abating”, with consumers having enjoyed more than 12 months of continually falling prices.

“This equates to £1.5 billion taken out of the market in the last year, saving each household £58 on average,” he said.

McKevitt added: “For the second successive month Lidl has reached a new share high, now claiming 4.3 per cent of the market and growth accelerating to 17.9 per cent.

“Growth was particularly strong in Scotland, the scene of its ‘smarter shopping’ card trial. It’s a similar story for Aldi, where revenues are up 17.6 per cent on a year ago.”

Elsewhere in the sector, sales at Waitrose – which today announced the departure of managing director Mark Price – rose 2.1 per cent compared with a year ago.

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