Discounters challenge Big Four supermarkets

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The UK's big four supermarkets all lost market share in the 12 weeks to 19 May, market research company Kantar says, as discounters gained ground.

Tesco's share fell to 27.3% from 27.7% a year ago, while Sainsbury's and Asda had equal shares of 15.2%, after sales fell by 1.7% and 0.2% respectively.

Sales at Morrisons fell 0.4%, giving it a share of 10.4%.

Like-for-like sales were unchanged at leader Tesco and fell at Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.

German discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to record strong growth, with sales up 11.1% and 8.5% respectively, giving them a record combined market share of 13.8%.

Sales at Ocado, Iceland, and Waitrose were also up on a year ago.

Sainsbury's/Asda deal could be blocked for ten years

woman shopping

The Competition and Markets Authority is proposing that any merger between Asda - owned by US retailer Walmart - and Sainsbury's should be blocked for ten years.

The proposal is outlined in documents published by the CMA following its decision to block the block the tie-up last month.

The CMA said the deal would raise prices for consumers, at the supermarkets' petrol stations and lead to longer checkout queues.

The competition watchdog is inviting comments by 5pm on Monday 24 June 2019.

Walmart blames Easter timing for Asda sales fall

Asda checkout worker

Asda owner Walmart has blamed Easter dates and a "challenging" retail environment for a fall in first quarter like-for-like sales.

Walmart chief financial officer, Brett Biggs said:

"The Easter calendar shift negatively affected several of our markets, including Asda where comps declined 1.1%, but would have been positive without the Easter flip.

"Against a challenging backdrop in the UK, Asda comp sales declined with the Easter flip, but transactions were positive as customer experience continued to improve."

Walmart 'considering Asda flotation'

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Sainsbury's tops the FTSE

Sainsbury's sign
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Sainsbury's shares are the biggest risers the FTSE this morning after better than expected full year underlying profit.

Shares in the supermarket giant are up more than 4.7% to 232.95p. Bear in mind, however, that shares tumbled in February from about 288p after a proposed merger between Sainsbury's and rival Asda was dealt a blow by the competition watchdog.

Sainsbury's regains second place from Asda

Supermarket market share graphic

Sainsbury's has regained its place as the UK's second largest supermarket from Asda, according to the latest market data from research from Kantar.

The two chains - who saw their attempt to merge scuppered last week by the UK's competition authority - have been neck-and-neck for some time.

Last month, Asda overtook Sainsbury's. However, Kantar say Sainsbury's has now reclaimed second slot with a 15.4% share in 12 weeks to 21 April, compared with Asda's 15.2%.

The discount chains remain a threat however, with Lidl’s market share hitting a new high of 5.7%,

Overall it was a good period for the grocery sector, Kantar said. Total year-on-year sales increased by 2% during the period, helped by a "record-breaking" £2.5bn spent during the Easter week.

Sainsbury's-Asda merger 'would have harmed competition'.
The competition watchdog blocks the Sainsbury's-Asda merger, warning it would leave consumers worse off.