Which do you prefer? Tesco; Waitrose; Morrison; Sainsbury's; Asda; Iceland or perhaps Co-op?

Sainsbury's said on 25 March 2009, that like for like sales excluding petrol rose 6.8% in the fourth quarter as both customer and basket size grew, with basic products flying off the shelves. Non-food and online sales also continued to grow. Since the failed takeover of Sainsbury's for about 600p, their shares have been punished considerably. They have nearly 15% of the market and though not as strong up north, they have almost 25% of the London / South of England market, unlike Tesco and Asda's parent company Wal-mart, they are a pure UK company.

Sales at supermarkets have held up despite the recession as competition has increased for customers.
Morrisons reported a 7% increase in annual pre-tax profits to £655m and a rise of 7.9% in like-for-like sales excluding petrol on the year.
The UK's fourth-biggest grocer said it was taking customers away from its more expensive rivals.

Waitrose said this month that sales for the first five weeks of 2009 increased by 5.2% to reach £4bn for the first time. Waitrose launched 11 shops last year and plans to open a further 22 this year.

Supermarket giant Tesco has posted record full-year profits of £1.6bn on 20 April 2009, lifted by rising sales. The group said pre-tax profits had surged 17.6% for the year to 28 February, in line with expectations. UK sales jumped 16.3% to £26.9bn, while sales at its overseas business - which makes up one-third of its operations - jumped 29% to £6.7bn.

Whichever you choose to invest in, you can guarantee that there will always be rumours about take-overs and mergers. For example one of Sainsbury's largest shareholders, Quatar Holdings may want to increase their stake. Or perhaps Marks and Spencers may merge with Sainsbury's.

Remember as 2008 has shown, shares and other financial assets can go up and down at frightening speed. Don't buy any, unless you know what you are doing and can afford to lose the money.