Voucher system helps keeps Dunnes Stores ahead of retail rivals

By Geoff Percival

Voucher system helps keeps Dunnes Stores ahead of retail rivals

Figures from market research company Nielsen show that nearly 75% of Irish shoppers have left their main Christmas grocery shop until this week, with 15% saying they’ll spend a lot less than last year. Only 2% said they planned to spend a lot more this year than last.

“It’s not surprising that people are saying they’ll cut back; nearly two-thirds of shoppers worry about money at Christmas, while four-in-10 say having enough money is their biggest concern over Christmas,” said Matt Clark, Nielsen’s commercial director in Ireland.

“Consequently, shoppers will be employing various tactics to save money on the Christmas grocery bill,” he said.

One of those, according to Nielsen, is the use of loyalty card vouchers, or reward points, which will be used by 35% of shoppers.

Dunnes Stores has benefitted from that trend, with its ‘shop and save’ voucher scheme keeping it out in front, in grocery market share terms, in the last few months.

Latest data from consumer insights agency Kantar Worldpanel — for the 12 weeks to December 3 — show Dunnes now has a 22.5% share of the grocery market, just 0.2 percentage points ahead of a resurgent Tesco.

SuperValu is now in third place, but still has 22.2% of the market. Lidl and Aldi each hold an 11.2% market share. All players grew till sales in the latest period — including Tesco by nearly 5%, Lidl by 3.3% and Dunnes by 2.4%.

“Dunnes Stores has always performed strongly in the countdown to Christmas and this year is no exception. (It’s) ‘shop and save’ initiative has proved the key to the retailer’s success. Shoppers now spend €2.30 more per shop than last year as customers are encouraged to up the value of their baskets to get extra money off,” said Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry.

Tesco’s at-the-till sales have now jumped by more than 4% in four consecutive months. SuperValu’s drop to third place, in market share terms, comes despite it experiencing its strongest sales growth since June.

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