Aldi and Lidl up share of UK grocer market

Discounters Aldi and Lidl stepped up their march across the UK supermarket industry in the last 12 weeks as the impact of price cuts by the country’s large grocers faded.

Lidl’s sales rose 18% and Aldi’s by a similar amount through October 11, researcher Kantar Worldpanel said in a statement yesterday.

The acceleration of the discounters’ growth deals a blow to grocers such as Tesco and Wal-Mart’s Asda, whose market share has been eroded by the German upstarts.

Those two chains, Britain’s biggest, saw the steepest rate of sales decline in the 12-week period, led by a 3% drop at Asda, according to Kantar.

“The supermarket price war shows no signs of abating,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said in the statement.

“For the second successive month, Lidl has reached a new share high.”

The UK’s largest grocers are continuing to adjust their offer in an effort to fend off the stiffer competition.

This month, Tesco began a price-matching programme that offers immediate discounts, rather than money-off vouchers, while Asda has announced that it will redirect planned non-grocery investment back into its supermarkets.

Sales at Tesco fell 1.7% in the 12 weeks, while Morrisons saw revenue drop by 1%, Kantar said.

Sainsbury boosted sales by 1.1% due to a strong performance in its online business and its smaller-format stores. Sainsbury surprised investors in September by forecasting that full-year pre-tax profit will surpass analysts’ estimates.

Kantar is due to publish its latest findings for the Irish grocery market next week.

Its last update, covering the 12 weeks to September 14, showed that the German discounters commanded a 17.7% combined share of the Irish market, up by nearly 1% on a year-on-year basis.


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