Tesco top in UK Christmas trading battle - Kantar Worldpanel

  • Tesco top in UK Christmas trading battle - Kantar Worldpanel

Tesco top in UK Christmas trading battle - Kantar Worldpanel

Tesco has been crowned victor of the "golden quarter" after figures revealed it recorded the largest sales growth of the "big four" supermarkets in the run up to Christmas.

Britain's biggest supermarket group Tesco was the best performer over Christmas, Kantar Worldpanel said on Tuesday, with a 3.1% rise in sales in the past 12 weeks beating its "big four" rivals Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.

Over the three months to December last year, sales of non-food items fell 3.7% - marking their steepest drop in five years, the BRC's figures showed.

"Despite a successful festive period, Tesco is still growing behind the market with a 0.2 percentage point fall in market share to 28.0%", McKevitt said.

The other members of the Big 4 - Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons - all saw gains of about 2% as overall sales for the sector rose 3.8% to £28.9bn compared to past year.

With Christmas Day falling on a Monday, Tesco Express branches, like other convenience stores, were able to benefit from restricted Sunday opening hours for larger supermarkets and were able to capitalise on consumers wanting to do their shopping closer to home immediately before the big day, Kantar said.

Asda grew sales by 2.2 per cent, Morrisons recorded 2.1 per cent of growth while Sainsbury's was up two per cent.

Mince pie sales rose by 13.2% year-on-year and alcohol sales grew by 5.1% year-on-year, with spirits up 7.6% as consumers favoured gin and whisky.

"Rising to the challenge, Aldi and Lidl collectively managed to attract almost one million additional households during the past three months".

Like-for-like prices rose by 3.7% in the 12 weeks, a slight increase on the 3.6% rise reported last month. "As a result, shoppers spread the pressure of buying their last minute fresh goods over a whole weekend, easing the strain both on them and on supermarkets' supply chains". And across both physical and online sales, shoppers spent more than £1bn more than they did during the previous year's festive season. "Only 36 per cent of spending was on items on offer this year - the lowest level of promotional activity at Christmas since 2009", McKevitt said. Fellow discounter Lidl also increased its market share, from 4.4 per cent to 4.9 per cent.

Grocery spend in the four weeks ending 30 December hit £10.5bn, a 3.7 per cent year-on-year rise, according to Nielsen retail data released today.

"The supermarkets did well this Christmas, particularly amid fierce price competition and shoppers starting to feel the squeeze on disposable incomes", Nielsen UK head of retailer insight Mike Watkins said.