City Talk: Tesco loses its shine

Tesco lost a little of its shine, as its share of the grocery market fell over the 12 weeks to 9 August, due to the intense cut-pricing pressure between the main supermarket groups.

Tesco's share of the 'spend' among the major supermarket groups fell to 31% over the three-month period, a decline from 31.2% the previous year. Tesco's increased sales were robust enough, at 5%, but this was below the market average of 5.6%, according to the latest figures from TNS Worldpanel. Meanwhile, Waitrose saw its market share rise to 3.9% in the three-month period, from 3.7% last year. Sales at Waitrose bounded strongly ahead by 10.2% - this was top of the supermarket league table. The retailer owes its success to the introduction of its Essentials range and the completed conversion of all the stores it bought as a result of the takeover of Somerfield by The Co-operative.

Aldi and Lidl see growth surge slow

Discount retailers Aldi and Lidl, which achieved enormous gains over the Christmas period, saw their growth fall back. Aldi saw year-on-year growth of 8.1% and Lidl enjoyed growth of 6.3%. While these figures are respectable, they are nowhere near the 26%-plus gains made by Aldi after the credit crunch hit customers' purchasing power. The two discount stores have failed to convert the bulge in new shoppers into regular customers.

Nisa Today dishes out 500,000 to members

Nisa Today, the independent stores buying group dished out 500,000 to members in August, after enjoying an 11% jump in sales this year. The company saw turnover rise to 1.1bn. It now has 980 member stores and is spreading the payout to those stores that used its central distribution service, with payments reflecting the level of business done. Payments will range from 500 to 40,000 per store, so almost 500 members will be paid. The company has been battling against a takeover bid by Bibby, the distribution group, which it had turned down. Bibby's bid, which was claimed to undervalue the Nisa business, came off the back of its ownership of 51% of Costcutter, Nisa's biggest store. Bibby was offering between 50m and 75m, from which it calculated that many Nisa stores could have got up to 100,000 each.

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