Tesco was up 6 per cent and still remains way out in front in terms of market share with 31.6 per cent of sales, with Asda coming in second with 16.6 per cent and Sainsbury's in third with 16.2 per cent. Morrisons' sales were up 5 per cent and it has an 11.2 per cent share of spend.
Somerfield's sales were down 4 per cent on the same period last year and its market share was down 0.4 per cent to 3.8 per cent. The figures bear out the collapse of Kwik Save's market share, sales down 67 per cent on last year.
The best performance, however, came from independent retailers. Their sales increased 8 per cent year on year, with the symbol groups showing 24 per cent growth, outperforming major players. 'The independent sector may be finding its niche after decades of pressure from the multiples,' said TNS research director Edward Garner.