Sainsbury's hanging tough, while Morrisons continues to shrink
Tesco has continued to gain market share in the food sector, while Morrisons is still being pulled down by the Safeway acquisition, with shoppers walking away from the brand. According to TNS figures for the 12 weeks to December 5, Tesco gained 12 per cent of the market compared with the same period last year. Combined Morrisons/Safeway fascias, however, have lost 11 per cent.The two grocers now have 28.7 per cent and 12.8 per cent of the market respectively.

The other big winner for the period is Waitrose, winning 17 per cent of the market over the period. It now commands 3.5 per cent of the market. TNS Superpanel communications director Ed Garner noted that Sainsbury's is still holding its own. He said: 'The rationalisation we have seen in earlier periods has speeded up - simply, the strong are getting stronger. Amidst the turbulence, Sainsbury's has some reason to be cheerful. The share has recovered to 15.6 per cent after three small but consistent increments of 0.1 per cent. While not dramatic, it is still a considerable improvement on earlier losses and reflects the focus on improving in-store availability.'