Sainsbury’s outperforms supermarket rivals at Christmas

<p>New research shows that Sainsbury’s performed better than rivals at Christmas.</p>

Budget supermarkets were among the best performing in the sector over the busy Christmas period, according to a new analysis conducted by Kantar Worldpanel.

Many of the industry's biggest players have confirmed their sales figures for the festive time of year already, with Sainsbury's picked out by Kantar as having performed particularly well.

With both premium and budget supermarkets doing well last Christmas, companies operating in the middle of the market were among those struggling to see the same levels of growth.

Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose all reported strong Christmas growth, the research conducted by Kantar showed. Morrisons witnessed its sales and share of the market drop in comparison to rivals.

Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "Among the big four [Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons] only Sainsbury's was able to resist the relentless pressure from the discounters and Waitrose. Now catching up with Asda, it managed to hold share and out-perform the market with year-on-year growth of 3.1 per cent."

Budget shops growing

Aldi and Lidl have become increasingly popular in the UK in the last few years as households tighten their budgets in response to the recession and its after-effects. Mr Garner told the BBC that Aldi and Lidl have successfully started appealing to a wider range of British consumers.

He pointed out that luxury products "like champagne and prosciutto ham" as well as basic goods can be bought at the two supermarkets, which has resulted in companies such as Morrisons seeing their share of the market slip in comparison, from 12 per cent to 11.5 per cent.

The share price of Morrisons is slightly down in the early stages of trading this morning (January 15th). By 08:14 GMT, its stocks were trading around 0.75 per cent down on the start of the day.

Asda's sales rose by 0.8 per cent in the 12 weeks to January 5th, according to the analysts at Kanter, while Tesco's increase was a mere 0.2 per cent.

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