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George plays down share gain

George at Asda has admitted that rival Primark is likely to regain the number two spot in clothing market share by volume by the end of the year, after the supermarket leapfrogged the value chain in terms of market share for the spring season.

According to leaked figures from retail research firm TNS Worldpanel Fashion, George’s clothing sales rose by 6% in the 24 weeks to the middle of September, increasing its market share by volume to 9.5%, compared with Primark’s share of 9.3%, which is understood to have fallen back from 10%.

But George managing director Anthony Thompson told Drapers he was not complacent about the figures, and said that spring and summer was traditionally a good trading period for George.

He said: “Trading patterns do differ between the high street and the supermarkets over Christmas, and we do better in the summer, but we would not be surprised if Primark retook the number two slot over Christmas and the Sale period.”

Thompson added: “Our target in 2008 was to regain our rightful place as the largest clothing retailer in the supermarket sector ahead of Tesco. We have achieved this goal and are working hard to ensure that we keep this position.”

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