SuperValu just holds off Tesco to retain top spot

SuperValu just holds off Tesco to retain top spot

SuperValu remains the biggest supermarket in Ireland in terms of market share, but it only barely held off stiff competition from Tesco in the 12 weeks to mid-August, writes Pádraig Hoare.

SuperValu retained the position of Ireland’s largest grocery retailer with a market share of 22.2%, just ahead of Tesco with 22%.

Tesco, which saw sales growth of 3.4% in the 12-week period, has now seen a fourth consecutive period of growth, the Kantar Worldpanel report said.

Dunnes Stores remains in third place, while Lidl and Aldi marginally increased their shares of the market.

Director at Kantar Worldpanel, Dave Berry said: “A year-on-year sales growth of 0.4% was enough for SuperValu to hold onto the top spot in the face of a strong challenge from Tesco.

“SuperValu has improved the number of items sold per trip but has done so at a lower price point and now holds a 22.2% share of the grocery market, down 0.3 percentage points on last year.”

He said that Tesco’s fourth consecutive period of growth was “a clear indication that it’s achieved a turnaround in performance”.

He said it was only the second time since July 2014 that Tesco has posted a year-on-year increase in market share. The overall grocery market has seen growth of 2.2% despite deflation holding steady at 0.5% for the second month in a row.

Dunnes sales increased by 2% in comparison with last year, the report said.

Mr Berry said: “There are some interesting dynamics boosting Dunnes’ performance this period. The number of households shopping with the retailer has fallen from 64% to 59% — that’s a reduction of 68,000 in absolute terms. However, this decline in footfall is cancelled out by a healthy improvement in how much shoppers are spending.”

He said the average Dunnes basket now includes an additional item and is worth an extra €2, suggesting that it is performing well in the larger main shop of the week, but less so among smaller top-up trips.

“If Dunnes can encourage some of its lapsed shoppers to return to the store then it could be seeing a healthy increase in sales growth and market share.”

This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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