Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose all continued to grow their share of supermarket spending in the 12 weeks to 30 November, with Morrisons managing an all-time record share of 12.1%.

Grocery sales for the 12 weeks ending November 29, 2009 were 4.3% up year-on-year at £22.3bn with Waitrose (up 14.3%), Co-operative (8.9%) and Morrisons (8.5%) the biggest gainers.

Grocery price inflation is also down to 2.8%, indicating that shoppers are now under much less pressure to trade down, said TNS. Morrisons added 0.4 share points and is growing at nearly twice the market rate.

Edward Garner, communications director at TNS Worldpanel, added: “The market is seeing several signs that indicate that an end to the recessionary buying behaviour is imminent. Premium ranges – particularly Tesco Finest – are in growth, while the hard discount sector, including Aldi, Lidl and Netto, are stagnant.”

Meanwhile research company Nielsen said sales in the grocery sector grew 3.1% in the four weeks to November 28.  In a slow month, retailer growth figures looked poor when compared with sales growth in October which stood at 4.2% year-on-year and growth for November 2008, which was 5.6% year-on-year, said Nielsen.

Mike Watkins, senior manager retailer services at Nielsen, noted: “With Christmas Day falling on a Friday this year it looks like it is going to be a massive last week of trading for the out-of-town hypermarkets and we are expecting between 4% and 5% top-line growth for December.  There is still a lot to play for.”

 12 Weeks to
30 November 2008
12 Weeks to
29 November 2009
 £000s% *£000s% *%
TotalTill Roll30,326,620 30,634,170 1.0
Total Grocers21,412,740100.0%22,323,900100.0%4.3
Total Multiples20,892,88097.6%21,839,43097.8%4.5
Farm Foods107,8680.5%112,0540.5%3.9
Other FreezerCentres49,7340.2%48,3770.2%-2.7
Other Multiples353,6221.7%389,0941.7%10.0
Total Independents519,8642.4%484,4632.2%-6.8
Total Symbols179,7440.8%166,7760.7%-7.2
Other Independents340,1201.6%317,6871.4%-6.6
* =Percentage Share of Total Grocers