In the latest Kantar data for the 12 weeks to 4 November, Morrison's market share fell 1.7% to 10%, followed by Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) owned Asda, down 1.2% to 15%, Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) which shrank 0.6% to 27%, and finally J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) which suffered a 0.2% decline to 15.6%.
Overall sales growth slows
Looking to the sector as a whole, supermarket sales in the 12 weeks reported year-on-year growth of 1%, although Kantar said this was “slightly slower” than the equivalent rate from last month.
Kantar referenced “a backdrop of political uncertainty and a persistently wet autumn” as possible reasons behind the slowdown in sales growth.
Looking ahead, the supermarkets were already gearing up for the critical festive period, with Kantar saying it was “no surprise” the brands were jostling for position early given the massive amount of money that consumers usually spend over the holiday season, including £11bn expected for December alone.
Kantar noted that a 62% increase in pumpkin sales over the past decade as punters became more engaged with Halloween was “a telling barometer of how retailers have found success by increasing focus on seasonal spend.”
In mid-morning trading on Tuesday, Morrisons’ shares were 0.4% lower at 197.4p while Tesco fell 2% to 232.9p and Ocado slipped 0.6% to 1,095.8p. Sainsbury’s meanwhile, received a boost form its ‘less bad’ market share decline, with the shares up 1% at 206.4p.