Tesco, wounded big beast of the UK supermarket sector, is showing fresh signs of life after notching up a second month on the trot as the best performing of Britain’s big four grocery providers.
Data compiled by Nielsen for the 12 weeks to 20 May 2017 showed that Tesco upped sales by 2.2%, well ahead of rivals Morrisons, Sainsburys and Asda, which recorded growth of 1.4, 1.2 and -0.1% respectively.
As a result Tesco comfortably retained its position as supermarket top dog with a 27.2% share of the market over the quarter, ahead of Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons on 15.1, 14 and 10% respectively.
Discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to be the biggest risers, however, with their market share increasing to 8.1 and 5.4% on the back of double digit growth as penny pinching consumers continue to flock to the discount aisles.
Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, commented: “Tesco’s re-focus on the customer and their changing needs, such as simplifying ranges and promotions, has meant they’ve not only attracted new shoppers but encouraged them to visit more often. These incremental improvements are helping reverse the declining spend per visit which was an ongoing challenge for Tesco last year. The growth is also now being supported by initiatives which revisit some wider consumer trends such as tackling food waste and supporting healthier eating and living.”
The wider grocery market is suffering from a period of food price inflation which saw the volume of goods sold drop by -2.3%, painting Tesco’s performance in an even more favourable light.
Tesco is thought likely to sell hundreds of its Express format stores in order to win regulatory approval for a takeover of wholesale retailer Booker.