Walmart Continues to Get Thrashed in This One Major International Market
Sales at Walmart’s U.K. unit, Asda, fell 1.9% to £4.3 billion ($5.3 billion) for the 12 weeks to Jan. 29, making it the only grocery store experience a decline. Asda, which has 630 locations across the U.K., saw its market share drop 0.6 percentage points to 15.6%.
Asda’s decline has started to slow with Kantar Worldpanel noting the retailer managed to increase the number of shoppers visiting store compared to the same time period last year.
Tesco (TSCDY) , the U.K.’s No. 1 grocery store chain, saw slower growth in the period, with sales increasing just 0.3% to £7.8 billion. Its market share slipped 0.4 percentage points to 28.1%. However, it remained firmly in first place as its nearest competitor Sainsbury’s (JSAIY) ended the period with a market share of 16.5% and experienced flat sales. Morrisons (MRWSY) was the only “Big Four” supermarket to see a growth in market share and sales.
Morrisons stock gained 1.13% on Tuesday to change hands at 242.1 pence, shares have gained 10.39% over the past three months. Morrisons has also been revamping its online services, partnering with Amazon (AMZN) to offer prime customers delivery of a full order of groceries within two hours.
The FTSE 350 Food and Drug Retailers Index was up 0.54% at 3,063.59 at 09:20 GMT, the index has gained 1.55% over the past three months.
The grocery store market is highly competitive in the U.K. with retailers engaged in a price war. However, the Big Four have been fiercely contended by low-cost competitors. Germany’s Aldi saw sales grow by 12.4% in the 12-week period to £1.7 billion. The privately held company saw its market share grow by 0.6 percentage points to 6.2%, making its Britain’s No. 5 food retailer.
However, the price war could soon be coming to an end. The 18% fall in the pound since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union last June has forced prices up. Grocery inflation now stands at 0.7% for the 12 week period, this marks the second period of inflation following 30 consecutive periods of deflation from September 2014 to December 2016. U.K. consumer prices accelerated at a 1.6% clip in December, data from the Office for National Statistics indicated.
Tesco stock was up 0.44% to change hands at 193.90 pence at 09:20 GMT, shares have lost 3.15% over the past three months.
Sainsbury’s shares have gained 2.15% over the past three months, and were 0.19% up at 260.50 pence on Tuesday.