By Jonathan Davies
Morrisons has seen its sales rise for the first time since December 2013, according to market expert Kantar Worldpanel.
The latest figures show Morrisons' sales growing 0.1% in the 12 weeks to the end of May.
In addition, Morrisons was the only 'big four' supermarket to see sales rise during the period. Tesco's sales were down 1.3%, Sainsbury's saw a decline of 2.4% and Asda reported a 0.3% fall.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Morrisons has returned to growth for the first time since December 2013 with a marginal sales increase - a welcome boost for new chief executive David Potts.
“A committed core of loyal Morrisons consumers is responding positively to recent initiatives and business has been boosted by online sales. Morrisons’ performance is an improvement on what was a difficult May 2014, so this is only the first step in any future recovery.”
Aldi and Lidl continued their impressive growth. Aldi's sales grew 15.7% and took its market share to 5.4%, solidifying its place above Waitrose. And Lidl's market share rose to 3.9%, its highest ever share.
The 'big four' supermarkets have been embroiled in a price war since the likes of Aldi and Lidl started to gain customers and sales. But Kantar expects prices to start rising again.
Mr McKevitt said: “All of the major supermarkets are finding growth difficult as prices have been declining since September 2014. Yet while like-for-like groceries are 1.9% cheaper than this time last year this is not as steep a fall as last month, when prices were down by 2.1%.
“This means that if current trends continue, prices will once again start rising by the end of the year.”