In 2007, Verdict estimate d that the Big Four - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons - accounted for 65.4 per cent of the £118.2 billion grocery market, up from 63.6 per cent in 2006, and grew their sales (excluding fuel) by a combined £3.3 billion during the year. These retailers not only outperformed the market, but also played a huge part in driving market growth, deepening their ranges in core categories
and expanding into new areas. The success of these retailers is based on the depth and make-up of ranges, a value for money mantra and strong convenience credentials. But it is not just the biggest players that are growing their market share - second-tier supermarkets are also gaining ground, as are hard discounters such as Aldi and Lidl. Tesco extended its lead over its rivals in 2007 for the ninth successive year, but Verdict found that its 0.8 percentage point rise (to 27.6 per cent) was its smallest market share gain since 2002.