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UPDATE 2-Britain's grocery sales rose 9.4% last month but there's no panic

    * COVID-19 restrictions tightened in October
    * No evidence of stockpiling or panic buying
    * Morrisons best performer of big four grocers

 (Adds details)
    By James Davey
    LONDON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - British grocery sales increased
by 9.4% in October year-on-year as COVID-19 restrictions
tightened, though there was no evidence of stockpiling or panic
buying by consumers, market researcher Kantar said on Tuesday.
    Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland enacted new COVID-19
health restrictions last month and England began a one-month
lockdown last week to curb a second wave of a pandemic that has
left the United Kingdom with Europe's highest death toll.
    "While there was some uplift in Wales (which started a
17-day lockdown on Oct. 23) the increased spending did not
provide any evidence of stockpiling, and initial figures suggest
no sign of panic buying in England either," said Fraser
McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.
    He said early evidence suggests that consumers in England
are confident about getting the essentials during the new four-
week lockdown, which started on Nov. 5, even if the restrictions
impinge on festive shopping.
    However, Kantar's conclusions were at odds with October
survey data also published on Tuesday by payment card provider
Barclaycard which said Britons were stockpiling essentials in
preparation for potential shortages.
    Kantar said Morrisons, the fourth biggest
supermarket group, was the best performer of Britain's "big
four" grocers with sales up 11.4% over the 12 weeks to Nov. 1
period and its market share growing for the fifth month in a
row.
    Sales at market leader Tesco were up 9.1% and
increased 7.6% at Sainsbury's. Walmart owned
Asda was again the laggard with growth of 5.0%.
    Online supermarket Ocado was again the fastest
growing retailer, with sales up 36.1%, while discounter Aldi
            again lost market share.
    Kantar said grocery inflation was 1.9% over the 12 weeks. It
said prices are rising fastest in markets such as canned cola,
ice cream and sausages while falling in vegetables, bread and
rice.
    
    Market share and sales growth (%)
                  12 wks to     12 wks to     pct change
                  Nov. 1 2020   Nov. 3 2019   in sales
 Tesco            27.0          27.0          9.1
 Sainsbury's      15.3          15.6          7.6
 Asda             14.4          14.9          5.0
 Morrisons        10.2          10.0          11.4
 Aldi             7.8           8.0           6.6
 Co-operative     6.4           6.5           8.6
 Lidl             6.1           5.9           12.5
 Waitrose         5.1           5.0           10.6
 Iceland          2.3           2.1           17.9
 Ocado            1.7           1.4           36.1
    Source: Kantar

 (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton and Ed
Osmond)
  
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