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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Economic Climate and Consumer Confidence arrow Recession Continues To Confront Retailers With A Changing World
Recession Continues To Confront Retailers With A Changing World PDF Print E-mail
Written by TNS Global   
13 Feb 2009

Plus An Update On Grocery Price Inflation

Ed Garner, Director of Research, TNS Worldpanel, comments:

The latest TNS Worldpanel grocery market share figures, published today for the 12 weeks ending 25th January 2009 continue to show how defensive the grocery sector is.  The market has lifted by 6.4% compared with the same period a year ago and since this period includes the Christmas and New Year festivities, it shows that business remained firm, regardless of what the shoppers were cutting back on in other areas of the High Street.

Having said that, as pure food price inflation remains above 8%, there are clear signs of trading down to lower price points, either within retailer (with retailers’ premium ranges under pressure and equivalent value ranges booming) or between retailers as this period’s figures continue to show.

Thus it is no surprise that Waitrose finds that growth is hard to achieve (despite their traditional Christmas uplift) with sales virtually static year-on-year resulting in a share decline from 3.9% a year ago to 3.7% now. 

Tesco slips back again with a 0.5 share point drop to 30.7%.  This is a reflection of their shoppers switching a lot of their spend out of Finest and into Value and Tesco Discount brands.

Both Asda and Morrisons have lifted their shares and seen growth of 8.1% and 9.7% respectively – well ahead of the market.  To a degree, they have not altered their central value-for-money proposition in the recession, it’s the market that has changed around them. 

It’s worth noting that Iceland had a very strong Christmas, reflecting their successful promotion of party food during the season and grew by 14%.

Once again, considerable growth for the Discounters with Aldi producing a class-leading 24.1% growth.

An update on inflation
Grocery price inflation has effectively stalled and the figure for the 12 week-ending period 25th January 2009 is 8.4%.  Whilst a continuation of the falling trend may have been expected, Sterling’s decline has adversely affected produce and imported foodstuff prices.

This figure is based on over 75,000 identical products compared year-on-year in the proportions purchased by British shoppers and therefore represents the most authoritative figure currently available.  It is a ‘pure’ inflation measure in that shopping behaviour is held constant between the two comparison periods – shoppers are likely to achieve a lower personal inflation rate as they trade down or seek out more offers

About TNS
TNS is a global market information and insight group.

Its strategic goal is to be recognised as the global leader in delivering value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective business decisions.

TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network of 80 countries.  Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides high-quality information, analysis and insight that improves understanding of consumer behaviour.

TNS is the world’s leading provider of customised services, combining sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development & Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management and Retail & Shopper.  TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and audience measurement services.

About TNS Worldpanel
Worldpanel? is TNS's continuous consumer panel sector, delivering insight into consumer purchasing and usage habits on a local and global scale.

Our coverage extends to more than 50 countries worldwide with services typically based on continuously monitored samples providing information on purchasing and usage activity. We use data collection technology best matched to the development of the environment that we are measuring, including bar code scanners, Internet, till receipt scanning as well as paper diaries and interviewing.

Worldpanel? works closely with a wide range of clients including multi-national and local FMCG brand and private label manufacturers, fresh food suppliers, retailers, market analysts and government organisations.

About Kantar:
The Kantar Group is one of the world's largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies – including the recently-acquired TNS – the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 80 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.  The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP Group plc. For further information, please visit


Last Updated ( 13 Feb 2009 )
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