Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:21 UK

Discount supermarket sales rise

Aldi and Lidl signs
Aldi and Lidl have launched an aggressive UK store expansion

Discount supermarkets are seeing sales grow as cost-conscious consumers in the UK look to save cash, figures suggest.

Aldi, Lidl and Netto saw their combined market share rise to 6.1% - their best ever, while Iceland also snared more of the market, TNS Worldpanel said.

And there was a suggestion of customers turning away from more expensive shops.

Nielsen data showed Marks and Spencer's share of grocery sales had fallen 2.1% in the four weeks to 8 August, while Waitrose's market share grew by 0.4%.

Tesco: 31.6%
Asda: 17%
Sainsbury's: 15.8%
Morrisons: 11.1%
Somerfield: 3.7%
Waitrose: 3.8%
Aldi: 3.0%
Lidl: 2.4%
Iceland: 1.7%
Netto: 0.7%
% sales of total grocers in 12 weeks to 12 August 2008
Source:TNS Worldpanel

Aldi and Lidl - which sell just one brand of most products - have run an aggressive expansion plan across the UK.

Aldi saw sales grow 19.8% during the 12 weeks to 12 August compared with the same period a year ago, TNS Worldpanel said, while Lidl was 12.3% up and Iceland added 14.4%.

Tesco and Sainsbury both saw slight falls in market share, down from 31.8% to 31.6% and 16.1% to 15.8% respectively.

Asda saw its share rise to 17% from 16.8%, while Morrisons edged up to 11.1% from 10.9%.

'Disproportionate' suffering

The data gave the "clearest picture yet that retailers with a clear price message are posting the strongest performances", said the director of research at TNS Worldpanel, Ed Garner.

"It is worth noting that this growth is entirely driven by new stores and new shoppers - spend levels for existing shoppers remain unchanged and quite low compared with the top four".

Meanwhile, retail analyst Nick Bubb said that the top-end food operators had suffered "disproportionately" in recent weeks as customers tried to make savings.

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