Sainsbury’s has been the only one of the big four chains to see its 12-week sales increase, for the third consecutive period, according to latest Kantar data.

  • Sainsbury’s sales up 1.1% in 12 weeks to October 11
  • Tesco, Asda and Morrions sales all fall
  • Discounters’ sales growing at above 17% again

A strong performance online and its local stores boosted Sainsbury’s revenues by 1.1% in the 12 weeks to October 11, but its market share was static at 16.1%.

By contrast Asda’s sales fell 3% in the period, Tesco’s sales fell 1.7% and Morrisons’ revenues slipped 1%.

The discounters, following a slowdown earlier, saw their rate of growth return to above 17% in the period. Lidl’s sales growth reached 17.9 and now has 4.3%of the market. The discounter’s sales were particularly strong in Scotland, where it has been trialling its  ‘smarter shopping’ card. 

Aldi saw revenues up 17.6% year-on-year.

Waitrose’ sales rose 2.1%,  the Co-operative sales grew by 1.0%. Iceland’s sales grew for the sixth month in a row, up by 3.2%.

Overall supermarket sales grew by 0.8% in the 12 weeks.

Fraser McKevitt, Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight said: “With like-for-like grocery prices 1.7% lower than last year, the supermarket price war shows no signs of abating. Consumers have now enjoyed more than 12 months of continually falling prices and are currently pocketing these benefits rather than splashing out on substantially more grocery items, with overall volume growth of only 2%. 

Online sales rose 9.8% in the period.

McKevitt added: “Internet sales offer a chance of long term growth – only 18% of households bought groceries online in the last 12 weeks meaning there’s plenty of space for further expansion. 

“The convenience factor and minimum spend restrictions mean online baskets tend to be larger, averaging £67 in value, compared with £14 for the average bricks and mortar trip.  Amazon Fresh’s expected full launch early next year could be a major disruptor, bringing down average basket sizes, accommodating on demand shopping, and accelerating the growth of the whole online market.”

Separately, Nielsen data today showed that sales value at the tills for the major supermarkets dropped 1% in the four weeks to the end of October 10. Volumes slipped 0.1%.

“Continuing deflation and the enduring growth of the discounters outweighed any bounce from the Rugby World Cup,” Nielsen said.

Sainsbury’s was the only top-four supermarket not to see a decrease in year-on-year sales, but sales were still flat.  Asda continued to the weakest performer out of the top 10 grocers with sales down 4.2% in the period.