Sales at Co-operative Food, which includes all retail societies with ‘The Co-operative’ branding, have increased by 1.5% in the third quarter of the year.
The figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks ending 8 November, showed that sales across all retailers increased on average by 0.5%, which was held back by falling prices which remained down by 1.7% on a like-for-like basis. Those with ‘The Co-operative’ branding include the Co-operative Group, Midcounties Co-operative, Central England Co-operative and Southern Co-operative.
At the employee-owned Waitrose, sales increased by 2.7%, while Sainsbury’s increased revenues by 1.5%. Sales dropped at Asda (-3.5%), Tesco (-2.5%) and Morrisons (-1.7%).
The Co-op’s market share gained 0.1 percentage point to 6.3% – the first year-on-year share gain since 2011.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said: “What we’re seeing from our data is that the efforts the Co-op have made in refocusing as purely a convenience business are paying dividends now. The shoppers coming into the stores are a little bit younger, a little more upmarket. The average basket is getting smaller as people are popping in for a few things. For the medium term at least I think we’re going to continue to see the Co-op do quite well in what is a pretty tough market.”
Overall, grocery inflation now stands at -1.7%, which means shoppers are now paying less for a representative basket of groceries than they did in 2014.
Lidl’s market share reached a record high of 4.4%, increasing by 0.7 percentage points on last year following a sales growth of 19%. Aldi grew sales by 16.5%, keeping its market share at 5.6% for the fifth consecutive month.
Mr McKevitt added: “Falling prices reflect the impact of Aldi and Lidl and the market’s competitive response, as well as deflation in some major categories including eggs, butter, bread, crisps and fresh poultry. The discounters show no sign of stopping and with plans to open hundreds of stores between them, they’ll noticeably widen their reach to the British population.”