Supermarket sales lifted by rising prices and early Christmas shopping

Supermarket sales lifted by rising prices and early Christmas shopping”

However it has been a mixed picture for the largest grocers in the country.

According to Kantar Worldpanel's latest grocery market share figures inflation remained at 3.2 per cent for the 12 weeks to October 8, but this is predicted to drop to two per cent in early 2018.

Morrisons increased sales by 2.8% and was the fastest-growing of the Big Four during the period, while Tesco sales grew by 2.1%.

The combined market share of the two German retailers grew to 12% in the 12 weeks to October 8, up from 10.8% the prior year, the survey showed.

Meanwhile challengers Aldi and Lidl collectively added £390m to their sales this period - that's half of the entire market's overall growth for the period. Lidl remains Britain's fastest growing supermarket, up by 16 per cent to account for 5.2 per cent of total supermarket spend, while Aldi grew by 13.4 per cent to 6.8 per cent. Morrison Supermarkets PLC's (MRW.LN) market share declined to 10.3%, from 10.4%, while sales increased by 2.8% to GBP2.63 billion.

Tesco PLC's sales grew by 2.1%, but its market share was down 0.3 percentage points to 27.9%.

Despite a turbulent few years, Asda has continued its recovery with sales up 1.8 per cent, pushed by the popularity of its own branded Farm Store and Extra Special ranges now accounting for 45 per cent of sales.

Sainsbury shares reacted the best, up 2.6% to 250p after its sales increased 1.9% on a year ago, with market share holding relatively steady - down 0.2 percentage points - at 15.8%.

Its programme of axing cut-price deals helped generate sales growth.

Despite coming out best of the big four in the period, Morrisons' market share still dipped from 10.4% to 10.3%.

Share increased for both Lidl and Aldi by 0.6 percentage points, up to 5.2% of the market for Lidl and 6.8% for Aldi.

Online retailer Ocado Group PLC sales did increase despite this slow down, with sales up 8.7% meaning it continues to win the share of the online market.

McKevitt said that in the 12 weeks only 18% of the population bought groceries online, he noted that "online specialists and the traditional supermarkets will both be looking to capitalise on the potential for long-term growth through internet sales".

It was the 17th successive period of growth for Britain's grocers, all of which is all very well, but over the same period the inflation rate was 3.2%, so all of the big four saw sales growth rates running below the inflation rate.

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