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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Sainsbury's loses out to rivals
Sainsbury's checkout (Sainsbury's)
Sainsbury's sales remain down despite revamped stores
The UK's biggest supermarket Tesco continues to reign supreme in the supermarket sector as Sainsbury's loses more ground to its rivals.

Figures from the TNS Superpanel showed sales at Tesco were up 9% from a year ago in the 12 weeks to 12 September while Sainsbury's saw no growth at all.

As a result, Tesco's market share rose to 28% from 26.8% a year ago, but Sainsbury's fell to 15.3% from 15.9%.

The figures will increase the pressure on Sainsbury's new chief Justin King.

Mr King is set to unveil the results of a review of the business on 19 October, which investors will watch closely for information on how he plans to revive the group.

The review comes in the wake of two profit warnings from the group so far this year.

Despite a three-year programme of store modernisation, sales at the supermarket chain have remained disappointing.

Losing out

The latest Superpanel data rubs salt into the wounds of the group which was pushed into the number three supermarket slot by Asda last year. It lost its position as market leader to Tesco in 1995.

Furthermore, sales also rose at Sainsbury's closest rival Asda, which boosted its market share by 0.1% to 16.9%.

Tesco continues to hold onto the number one spot
According to the till receipt data collected by market analysts TNS, Wal Mart-owned Asda enjoyed a 5% rise in sales.

The figures were also bad news for the newly-enlarged Morrison's chain.

The group, which snapped up Safeway's for 3bn last year in a bid to break into the south of England market, saw sales slide 2% over the quarter.

The drop meant that the Bradford-based group saw its market share dip to 13.6% from 14.5% a year earlier.

Core Morrison's stores actually increased their market share to 6.7% from 6.4%.

However, the improvement was more than wiped out by a poor performance at the old Safeway stores, whose market share shrank to 6.9% from 7.5% over the month.

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