Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 16:06 UK

Tesco is 'losing UK market share'

Tesco sign
Tesco is the UK's largest supermarket retailer

UK supermarket giant Tesco has lost market share to discounters Aldi and Lidl as consumers cut back on spending.

Tesco's share of the UK market dropped to 30.6% in the 12 weeks to 19 April, from 31.1% during the same period in 2008, according to research firm TNS.

Of the other "big four" supermarkets, Sainsbury's, Asda, and Morrisons all gained market share.

Waitrose saw its market share fall slightly in the three month period to 3.8% from 3.9% a year earlier.

Sainsbury's grew from 16.1% to 16.3% of the market and Morrisons increased to 11.5%, from 11.4%.

Aldi's share rose to 2.9% from 2.7%, and Lidl gained by 0.2 percentage points to 2.4%.

And Jim McCarthy, the head of Poundland, where almost everything is sold for a UK pound, said that the recession was driving consumers to his stores.

Mr McCarthy told Reuters that his 208-store company will report "stunning numbers" for the year to March when it releases its figures in June.

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