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March 2, 2010

UK: Promotions propel Co-op, says Kantar

Price cuts and promotions have made The Co-operative Group the fastest-growing retailer in the UK, according to the latest sales data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Price cuts and promotions have made The Co-operative Group the fastest-growing retailer in the UK, according to the latest sales data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Sales at The Co-op climbed 16.3% in the 12 weeks to 21 February following a GBP200m price-cutting and promotional campaign, Kantar said today (2 March).

Waitrose, which had witnessed the fastest growth in recent Kantar numbers, grew its sales by 15.5%.

The Co-op, which runs a “divi” membership campaign, is facing increased competition from the likes of Tesco, last month extended its ‘double points’ Clubcard promotion.

Kantar communications director Ed Garner said there had been a “step-up” in marketing from UK retailers since Christmas.

“Tesco has undoubtedly turned up the heat for Asda this month but the battle is by no means over. Asda has reacted strongly with a major coupon scheme of its own and we expect to see the impact of this latest consumer onslaught in next month’s figures,” Garner said.

Tesco’s sales grew by 5.9% over the 12-week period; Asda posted the slowest sales growth among the UK largest retailers of 3.8%. Sainsbury’s sales were up 5.6%, while Morrisons sales grew 9.8%.

The increased competition among the multiples has led to Lidl and Aldi losing market share, Kantar said.

The analysts also claimed the growth in food prices slowed last month, with inflation standing at 2.4%.

“This confirms that we are currently in a low-inflation environment which could restrict the ability of the market to generate cash growth,” Kantar explained.

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