Meanwhile, market leader Tesco goes from strength to strength
The latest TNS figures for grocery highlight steady market share gains by Sainsbury's in the 12 weeks to February 27. However, Tesco's year-on-year gains are double that of the next two biggest grocers, Asda and Sainsbury's, put together.

The biggest winner in year-on-year growth is Waitrose, although its 3.7 per cent share of grocery sales is tiny compared with Tesco's 29.2 per cent.

Aside from Morrisons' shrinking market share, which is mainly a result of its continuing divestiture of Safeway stores, Budgens is the biggest loser, with its share falling by 11 per cent over the year.

TNS communications director Edward Garner questioned whether Sainsbury's could be turning the corner of its long-awaited turnaround. The grocer's market share fell 0.2 per cent to 16 per cent over the period, but is still well up on its low of 15.2 per cent in September. Garner said: 'We are starting to see the positive results from Sainsbury's drive to improve its supply and availability problems. Elsewhere, the pressure from Tesco remains relentless as its share posts another record of 29.2 per cent - its turnover having grown year on year by a remarkable 12 per cent.'