Sainsbury's takes advantage of Asda's slips to become Britain's second biggest grocer


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The Independent Online

The extent of Asda’s downfall was laid bare as Sainsbury’s overtook it to become the country’s second biggest grocer for only the third time in 12 years.

The supermarket, owned by the US giant Wal-Mart, had managed to avoid the industry-wide price war that left the chief executives of Tesco and Morrisons out of a job and saw Sainsbury’s record a loss for the first time in a decade.

But with even more discounting in the offing, along with a resurgent Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, Asda was the worst-hit of all the supermarkets, according to data compiled by Kantar Worldpanel.

Sales fell 2.7 per cent in the 12 weeks to 19 July compared with a year ago, giving it a market share of 16.4 per cent, while Sainsbury’s saw a 0.3 per cent fall in sales, giving it a market share of 16.5 per cent. Tesco is still the biggest supermarket with 28.5 per cent.

Fraser McKevitt, of Kantar, said: “There are a couple of positives Sainsbury’s have had, especially through Sainsbury’s Locals. They are also benefiting from their focus on the South-east and London, which is performing particularly well.”