Tesco reports 3.6% drop in sales

<p>Tesco’s sales are falling at a faster rate than any of its competitors.</p>

Tesco has reported another a drop in sales as it faces increased competition from its rivals.

The supermarket saw a 3.6 per cent decline in sales in the 12 weeks to October 12th, according to figures released by research firm Kantar Worldpanel. The UK's largest retailer has faced some tough trading in recent months and has seen its market share diminish as discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, along with Waitrose, have gained more ground.

Tesco now commands a market share of 28.8 per cent, down from 30.1 per cent recorded during the same period 12 months ago. It was in stark contrast to Asda which had managed to secure a 1.0 per cent rise in market share over the last 12 weeks while the other members of the Big Four, Morrisons and Sainsbury's, seeing drops of 1.8 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively.

Fraser McKevitt, Kantar's head of retail and consumer insight, said: "We are seeing clear polarisation of the market, with both the premium and discount ends of the market gaining share, while the mainstream grocers continue to be squeezed in the middle."

It has been a few weeks to forget for Tesco after the supermarket admitted it had overstated it guidance for its half-year profits by £250 million in September. This led to Tesco executives being questioned by MPs over the "stratospheric" error.

At the time Adrian Bailey, chairman of the Parliamentary Business Committee, BBC Radio 5 Live's Wake Up To Money programme that it was "unbelievable" that such an established retailer could get into "such a mess". The organisation added that it would be monitoring Tesco's situation over the coming months.

The rise of discounters such as Aldi and Lidl has put pressure on the traditional supermarkets. Morrisons has reacted by pledging a price promise which includes matching the two emerging discounters.

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