The market share held by some of the UK's major food retailers failed to grow during the last quarter, figures released earlier this week have revealed.
Morrisons, Tesco and Asda were found to have suffered throughout the past three months as they faced increasing competition from discount stores, the latest report from market analysts Kantar Worldpanel shows.
Sales decreased at both Morrisons and Tesco during the 12-week period that ended on February 2nd, falling by 2.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.
Industry analyst Richard Clarke told the Guardian: "These figures show that Morrisons has lost its way. It used to be a retailer which stood for good value and fresh food credentials. Now it exhibits neither value or quality and it can't survive in this market."
He also said that he thinks the only way forward for the supermarket is if they devise a new strategy.
Although sales did improve slightly at Asda - by 0.5 per cent - it failed to increase its market share as takings were nowhere near the average 2.4 per cent growth the grocery market achieved as a whole.
The only major supermarket to gain a larger share was Sainsburys, but it failed to rank ahead of Asda in Kantar's report.
Analyst Fraser McKevitt said this was the slowest growth the sector has experienced since 2005, but he remains positive that improved economic prospects lie ahead for the grocery industry.
Despite the decline in sales for some retailers, elsewhere in the market other supermarkets thrived. Discount food stores Aldi and Lidl saw sales increase by 32 per cent and 17.2 per cent respectively, while Farmfoods saw the fastest growth at 43.9 per cent.
Sales at upmarket grocery retailer Waitrose increased to 5.6 per cent, meaning it now has a 4.9 per cent share in the market overall.
Despite these figures, consumers will have seen slight benefits to their budgets during the quarter, as grocery inflation fell to just 2.1 per cent over the three months.