Supermarkets are continuing to increase their market share in Britain's health and beauty sector, a new report suggests.
A survey by retail thinktank Verdict Research shows that four of the top five places in the sector are occupied by supermarkets, putting pressure on its leader Alliance Boots.
Expansion in non-food interests has seen supermarkets overall command 45 per cent of the £14.9 billion health and beauty market, Verdict says.
Boots still dominates the sector with a 26 per cent market share, up 1.2 percentage points from 2005, but supermarket giant Tesco saw its portion rise 5.3 per cent to 18.2 per cent.
"Much of this growth has come from supermarkets' space expansion through store openings and acquisitions, but also from expansion of their health and beauty ranges and pharmacy services," a spokesperson for Verdict, a subsidiary of Datamonitor, said.
The representative went on to claim that pharmacy services were "no longer the main preserve of the specialist", with supermarkets now accounting for almost one in 20 NHS prescriptions.
The three supermarkets taking up the other positions in the Verdict's top five are Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.
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