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10 January 2018, 01:47 | Austin Hogan
AM update: Morrisons sales surge, Persimmon revenues climb, Asian markets up
Tesco was the biggest performer in the Big Four, followed by Asda, which saw sales rise by 2.2%.
Among the retailers, Aldi and Lidl are still level pegging in the battle to be the nation's fastest growing supermarket, with both growing sales by 16.8 per cent year on year.
Shoppers parted with £747m on December 22 alone, making the Friday before Christmas the busiest shopping day ever recorded. However, its market share fell by 0.2 percentage points year on year to 28% in the period. "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.
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.
The latest United Kingdom grocery market share figures published Tuesday by Kantar Worldpanel showed consumers spending GBP1 billion more than previous year in the Christmas festive period.
Meanwhile, sales at Waitrose and Iceland increased by 2.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent, but its market shares dipped 0.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.
Indeed, private-label sales at the supermarkets grew at almost three times the rate of the overall grocery market (6 per cent) as "most retailers made a big play on the quality and value of premium private-label this Christmas, which is crucial as shoppers look to economise not compromise".
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Britons spent £1 billion more than a year ago over the three months including Christmas, with the average household spending a record £1,054 on groceries. Excluding the discounters, sales were up 2.3 per cent.
Morrisons increased sales by 2.1% - with strongest growth coming from ambient and frozen foods - though the grocer's market share fell by 0.2 percentage points to 10.7%. This is against the backdrop of the retailer's continuing strategy of moving away from promotions, selling 5.6% fewer items on offer than during the same period previous year.
Mince pie sales rose 13.2% to £93m while alcohol was up 5.1% to £3.9bn.
However, Tesco's market share has dropped to 27.5% in the 12 weeks ended December 30, unchanged from the comparable period a year earlier, while Sainsbury's fell to 15.5% from 15.8%, Asda fell to 14.2% from 14.4% and Morrisons fell to 10.2% from 10.4%, Nielsan data showed. Supported by a 7% boost for own label sales, more than half of the increase came from products beyond the retailer's traditional frozen lines.
Sainsbury's managed to increase sales across its convenience stores, larger supermarkets and online deliveries, growing by two per cent overall.
Online sales played a key part in the month with 18% of households shopping online for groceries in December (up from 16% last year).
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