The decline of the supermarkets

The big supermarket chains are struggling. Is this a short-term blip or a long-term trend? Can the web save them? Simon Wilson reports.

How are the supermarkets doing?

Not well. Market leader Tesco recently reported a third consecutive quarter of falling UK sales, with like-for-like sales down 3.7%. On some measures, that’s Tesco’s worst performance for 40 years – and its beleaguered chief executive, Philip Clarke, predicted that trading would remain challenging “throughout the coming quarters”. Morrisons is doing even worse: it posted a 7% fall in underlying sales in early May.

And even the sector’s recent [...]

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