Morrisons winning customers from rival Asda since start of coronavirus

Morrisons has been winning customers from its rival Asda since the pandemic began, supermarket sources have revealed. 

Asda underperformed its competitors in the six months to the end of September, clocking up the slowest sales increase in the rush to stockpile food at large stores, according to data prepared for The Mail on Sunday. 

Asda’s market share fell to 14.3 per cent in the six-month period from 15.1 per cent a year earlier. 

Morrisons, which the data compiler Kantar said had grown fastest of the UK supermarkets, broadly held its market share at just over 10 per cent

Morrisons, which the data compiler Kantar said had grown fastest of the UK supermarkets, broadly held its market share at just over 10 per cent

Morrisons, which the data compiler Kantar said had grown fastest of the UK supermarkets, broadly held its market share at just over 10 per cent

Morrisons, which the data compiler Kantar said had grown fastest of the UK supermarkets, broadly held its market share at just over 10 per cent, despite fierce competition from the Co-op and Iceland, as shoppers travelled less far and spent more locally. 

‘Morrisons has been on the front foot since this began and its stores are very often located near Asda’s – it’s quite obvious it has been taking Asda’s customers,’ said one supermarket director. 

Rivals have described the Asda chain as ‘unloved’ and said that they hoped its new owners – Blackburn-based brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and their private equity partners TDR – would invest heavily in the chain. 

But one supermarket veteran said the stores could require as much as £500million to refurbish. 

Another said the £1billion the new owners have earmarked to invest in the business over three years will ‘hardly scratch the sides’ if its rivals escalate their price cutting campaigns. 

The deal, which has yet to be completed, was widely lauded when it was announced earlier this month. 

But there has been growing scrutiny of the brothers’ business empire since The Mail on Sunday revealed that their £18billion petrol forecourt business EG Group had links to a string of tax havens from Jersey to the Cayman Islands. 

The investigation also revealed that interest payments on its £7.7billion debt wiped out profits, significantly reducing tax payments.

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