Across the multiples, in the 12 weeks ending 27 November 2010, Sainsbury achieved the highest sales growth of 6.8%, ahead of Tesco (4.1%), Asda (3.7%) and Morrisons (1.9%), said Nielsen.
In the period, Sainsbury launched its Christmas ad, starring Jamie Oliver and created by AMV BBDO, which promoted a competition giving people the chance to win the perfect Christmas, delivered to their door.
Mike Watkins, senior manager retailer services at Nielsen, said: "Shopper spend is being promotionally pushed rather than consumer-led, so it is no surprise that year-on-year sales improved to around the 5% mark in November.
"The end of November is typically the annual promotional peak and this year is no exception, with 39% of value sales being sold on some kind of promotion. The greatest-ever proportion of spend on offer was purchased in the alcohol and soft drinks category."
According to Nielsen, categories that performed strongly were those with a non-perishable seasonal focus, such as crisps and snacks (up 9.7%), soft drinks (up 9%) and confectionery (up 6.2%).
Nielsen, however, added a note of caution, saying that bad weather had the potential to dampen sales in December and that consumers would increasingly turn to local stores for essential supplies.
Separately, data from Kantar Worldpanel, the consumer research group, reveals that Morrison has reported its first loss of market share in three years.
The data shows that Morrison, headed by chief executive Dalton Phillips, reported a market share fall in the grocery market from 12.1% to 12% in the 12 weeks to November 28.
Its performances contrasted with that of Tesco, which grew its share of the market from 30.6% to 30.7% in the period. Sainsbury grew its share from 16.1% to 16.4% in the period.