Only by a little bit, mind, as the UK’s grocers (who sell a lot more than groceries these days) appear to have fought each other to a standstill in their last quarter’s trading.
Sainsbury’s sales increased by 6.1 per cent ahead of its three main rivals Tesco, Asda and Morrison’s to push its market share up from 15.9 to 16.2 per cent. Waitrose, which has added aggressively-priced external brands to its Essentials offers recently, increased sales by 8.6 per cent and its market share from four per cent to 4.2 per cent.
But this just shows how tough competition is with both Tesco and Asda stopping the rot in their own respective market shares.
Separately Sainsbury’s announced £332m of half-yearly pre-tax profits, which means that the UK’s third-largest grocer is almost as big as Marks & spencer (£378m of half year profits).
CEO Justin King, the housewife’s friend, said that the company had a team of spies in China seeing how the locals shopped and cooked before deciding on whether or not to try for a joint venture deal there. The company is also looking at India.
He also said he thought the company’s Taste the Difference range of posh food was doing well because of the X Factor’s huge audiences on ITV, noting that people might be staying in but they were eating well.
X Factor boss Simon Cowell is clearly the main motor of the UK’s economy.