Sainsburys was top of the tree at Christmas

Sainsbury’s, the third largest grocer in the UK, outsold the competition in the month before Christmas, according to data from Nielsen.  Sales increased by 8% on last year, and the four weeks leading up to December 25th saw an increase of 10.1%, with an accompanying rise in market shares of half a point, bringing it to 15.4%.

Rivals Tesco and Morrisons both showed a rise of about 6.9% in the same time period, and Wal-Mart’s Asda came in just behind at 5.8%.  Nielsen reported on Friday that supermarket sales in Britain hit a record of £3.36 billion, partially owing to the rise in prices.

Though all of the retailers reported a slump due to inclement weather, they also reported a surge in the period just before Christmas Day.  The trend also seemed to be towards high-end foods, with Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose outselling the lower-end Tesco, Asda and Morrisons.