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Food store spending falls as price cuts hit.

Byline: with Owen Hughes

SPENDING in food stores dropped in July for the first time in at least 25 years as the supermarket price war took effect, official figures showed today.

The year-on-year fall of 1.3% was the first since records began in January 1989, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

It said the drop "suggests that prolonged discounting and price wars were having an effect on overall sales".

The grocery sector has become a pricecutting battleground as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons feel the squeeze from discounters Aldi and Lidl gnawing at their market share.

Tim Denison of research group Ipsos Retail Performance said: "Food retailers escaped the worst of the recession, in stark contrast to the non-food retailers, but are now feeling the heat as the economy recovers. The years of austerity have left their footprint on shopping habits with the popularity of discounters growing and supershed formats on the wane. The price war amongst the big four is really damaging them all and making it into a race to the bottom."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Aug 22, 2014
Words:176
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