UK grocery retailer Morrisons has lost market share for the first time since the end of 2007, falling from 12.1% to 12%, according to research released today (7 December).

The value-focused retailer suffered the blow as premium retailers gained market share, according to Kantar Worldpanel research for the quarter ended 29 November.

“Going forward Morrisons will have to focus on building basket size to sustain its performance. The current promotion where shoppers collect five till slips worth over GBP40 to qualify for a GBP30 payback is designed to address this,” said Kantar Worldpanel communications director Edward Garner.

Meanwhile, the premium sector saw gains over the quarter, with Garner expecting retailers like Waitrose to continue to take share over the Christmas period.

Kantar Worldpanel communications director Edward Garner said: “Our predictions for a premium Christmas remain on-track as Waitrose strongly out-performs the market once again, increasing its share from 3.9% for the same last year to 4.1% this year.

Asda and Sainsbury’s, which have both relaunched their premium ranges in time for Christmas also saw improvements. According to the Kantar Worldpanel research, Asda’s share has stabilised for the first time this year, at 17%, following a series of small losses, but Garner said, the “star performer amongst the top four, is once again, Sainsbury’s”.

“Its share has increased from 16.1% a year ago to 16.4% and this is the 22nd report in this series to show a year-on-year share increase,” he said.

Tesco gained market share for the first time since May, increasing its market share from 30.6% in November 2009 to 30.7% in the current quarter.