UK Grocery Market Shares are a little dependent on who you believe. In my case, I have chosen one group (initially TNS, subsequently taken over by Kantar) and stuck with them. I have wanted not to focus on the short-term movements, which is what tends to get covered, but to consider the long run trends.
I have covered the resulting graph before but each July I continue to update the annual figures and redraw the graph. we have recently seen the release of the 2018 July figures and so my new graph is below.
I won’t rehearse or repeat my previous comments on the early part of the graph and the rise of Tesco and the decline of Sainsbury. Instead I would draw out four more recent issues:
- Tesco’s market share continues to slide and is now below that they had in 2004. They remain a dominant feature of the the market, but if Asda/Sainsbury have their combined way, then that could end. This long slow slide is hardly the crisis sometimes portrayed, but it does represent a lost decade for the company.
- Asda and Sainsbury have stagnated and swapped position for over 15 years. In the last year Asda stabilised while Sainsbury fell. This though is hardly a compelling case for togetherness – would the sum be less than the parts?
- The rise of the discounters continues apace. Aldi and Lidl appear relentless in the graph and their combined market share is nearly 13% i.e. ahead of all bar the “big 3”. Whilst you could add two or three others up to get a bigger number, the pairing of these two makes sense in reflecting how the discounters have shaken the market.
- Whilst not on the graph above, but in the Kantar data and press release, Ocado have a market share of 1.2%. Given spatial concentration this is quite interesting. How far can they go?