Wal-Mart’s ASDA now no 2 UK retailer

Wal-Mart’s ASDA has overtaken J. Sainsbury into second place in the UK grocery market according to the latest market share figures released on Wednesday by industry body Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS).

TNS, which produces closely-watched figures based on till roll data collected from the supermarkets, said Asda overtook Sainsbury for the first time in the four weeks ended July 20 2003.

Comparing this period with a year ago, Asda’s market share has grown to 17 percent from 16.1 percent while Sainsbury has dropped to 16.2 percent from 17.1 percent.

That means Sainsbury, which was the market leader until 1995, is now in third place. Tesco is in first place with 27 percent and is widening the gap.

The news did not come as a shock to Sainsbury, which is in the middle of a massive recovery plan, spending huge amounts on its supply chain and stores to try and make up for years of under-investment.

“The key point is that we are still the second largest grocery retailer in terms of food,” a spokeswoman said.
“Asda’s growth has been driven by non-food. We know that, we’re addressing it and we’re relaunching all our non-food in the autumn,” he added. Asda’s successful George range has tempted shoppers away from high street clothing stores and the brand has now been exported to the United States. Tesco also enjoys a relatively high proportion of non-food sales, which help buck more subdued growth figures for food sales.