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Tesco Had Worst Sales Decline in Two Decades, Kantar Data Shows

Tesco Plc had its worst sales decline in two decades, Kantar Worldpanel data showed today, a week after Britain’s largest supermarket company said it will replace Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke.

Tesco’s sales fell 3.8 percent in the 12 weeks ended July 20, the steepest decline since comparable records began in 1994, the research company said today. The retailer’s share of its domestic market fell 1.4 percentage points to 28.9 percent.

Clarke lost his job after struggling to compete with discounters Aldi and Lidl at the low-price end of the U.K. grocery market, and upscale chains such as Waitrose at the other. The two German discounters both reported record market share for the past three months as shoppers flock to their low-frills offerings, Kantar said today.

Waitrose recorded sales growth of 3.4 percent and increased its share of the market to 4.9 percent from 4.8 percent.

“Waitrose has continued to resist pressure from the competition, testament to its policy of maximum differentiation,” said Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel director.

Aldi’s share of the market jumped more than a percentage point to 4.8 percent, with sales growth of 32 percent, while Lidl reported revenue growth of 20 percent in the period and an increase in market share to 3.6 percent.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Asda unit and J Sainsbury Plc’s market share was unchanged at 17 percent and 16.6 percent respectively, Kantar Worldpanel said, while Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc’s saw its share of revenue decline to 11 percent from 11.5 percent.

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