Dunnes, Lidl up ante in grocery wars

Competition in the retail grocery market intensified in the last quarter, with Tesco continuing to narrow its sales declines, Dunnes closing the gap on its rivals, and the German discounters maintaining their combined record high share of the market.

New data covering the 12 weeks to August 16 was published yesterday by leading consumer insights agency Kantar Worldpanel.

It showed that Tesco Ireland’s till sales fell 1%, on a year-on-year basis; the lowest quarterly decline for some time, while those of SuperValu dipped 0.8%.

Dunnes saw an 8.2% annualised over-the-counter sales jump.

Tesco still holds top spot in market share terms with a 24.8% slice of the sector, though down 0.6% on the same quarter last year. 

SuperValu is not far behind with a 24.5% share, while Dunnes now has a 22.4% share of the market, up by 0.1% on the preceding quarter and by 1.3% on a year-on-year basis.

“Dunnes success is, in large part, thanks to the continuation of its ‘shop and save’ campaign,” said Kantar Ireland’s director David Berry. 

“Although fewer people have shopped with the retailer this period, these customers have been encouraged to spend more, with the average shop now costing €34.50 — an increase of more than €5.

“We’ve seen Tesco’s performance improve in recent months and the past 12 weeks are no exception.

“As its performance continues to improve, Tesco retains the number one position in the market with 24.8% share, despite an ongoing tussle with SuperValu for the top spot. 

"An increase in customer numbers, with more than 20,000 new shoppers recruited this year, has played a vital part in the supermarket’s recovery.”

The combined Aldi and Lidl maintained their 17.7% share of the grocery market which is up 0.7%. Aldi holds a 3.7% share, with Lidl boasting 9.1% of the market. The two saw increases of 3.8% and 7.7% in till sales in the latest period.

“Lidl has maintained its strong performance, boosting its share of the market by more than half a percentage point to 9.1%,” Kantar noted. 

“Sales growth of 7.7% has been driven by an increased number of shoppers returning to the store more frequently and spending larger amounts on each occasion.

“Lidl is the only retailer to drive improvement in all three of these areas in the last quarter.”

Meanwhile, grocery market inflation stood at 1.3% for the period, up from 0.7% in the preceding 12-week period.


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