Bloomberg News

Tesco U.K. Market Share Slumps to Lowest in Almost Seven Years

February 28, 2012

Tesco Plc (TSCO)’s share of the U.K. grocery market fell to the lowest in almost seven years as more Britons shopped at upscale chains such as Waitrose Ltd. and discounters including Iceland Foods Ltd. and Aldi.

The U.K.’s largest supermarket chain had a 29.7 percent share of spending in the 12 weeks ended Feb. 19, researcher Kantar Worldpanel said today in a statement. That was the lowest since the three months ended March 27, 2005. Waitrose increased its share to a record 4.5 percent, Kantar said.

Price-matching and fresh-food offers by competitors are eroding Tesco’s lead in the U.K. grocery market, which according to Kantar is worth 4.5 percent more than a year ago. Sales at Cheshunt, England-based Tesco were 2.5 percent higher in the latest three-month period than a year earlier, Kantar said.

“Tesco’s market share remains under pressure,” Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said in the statement.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)’s Asda chain maintained its record 17.5 percent share in the latest three-month period, boosted by the conversion of former Netto stores acquired in 2010, the researcher said. J Sainsbury Plc (SBRY) increased its share to 16.6 percent from 16.5 percent a year earlier.

Aldi’s market share rose to 3.6 percent from 3.1 percent a year earlier, while fellow German discounter Lidl boosted its share to 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net


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