Recent performance of the UK grocery retailers
As the curtain falls on 2017, grocery retailers are this week publishing their results over the all-important Christmas period.
The way the results are analysed is well-rehearsed. Kantar report absolute sales growth and market share changes based on its 30,000 strong shopper panel.Media and industry commentators single out the 1-year underlying like-for-like sales growth figure (“LFLs”) posted by all major grocery retailers, with those at the top end of the range hailed as the most successful.
Based on the latest set of results, most see Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s as modest “winners” over the period after they posted LFL growth of 1-3%, despite some city analysts expecting more from Tesco. M&S was branded the “loser” amongst its main rivals, after seeing LFLs in its food business fall. Although LFL growth is encouraging for the sector, we need to put these recent results in context. It has been a tough few years for UK grocery retailers. And to fully understand the current dynamics, we first need to know the history.