Dunnes Stores has fought off SuperValu to retain the top spot in the latest supermarket share figures — the first time it has been on top for two consecutive months.
Sales at Dunnes grew by 4.6% and the retailer increased its market share to 22.9%, up from 22.5% last year, according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel Ireland, published for the 12 weeks ending February 26.
SuperValu is behind by just 0.3% despite announcing record sales of €2.67bn for 2016, while Tesco’s performance was affected by recent industrial action.
Following three months of steady growth, Tesco sales dropped by 1% as 11 days of staff strikes led to disruption for the retailer.
Kantar said despite the industrial action only affecting eight stores there has been a clear impact on the retailer’s performance, with market share falling by 0.9 percentage points to 21.7%.
Dunnes is seeing added items to customer baskets month on month with customers responding to reward schemes, leading to an extra €25m for the retailer, said Kantar director David Berry.
“Dunnes’ shoppers are adding more to their baskets, helping the retailer to maintain the title of Ireland’s largest supermarket this month. The grocer’s Shop and Save initiative is continuing to influence customers, with the average basket featuring an extra one and a half items – an additional €3 per trip and €25m for the retailer in the past 12 weeks,” he said.
SuperValu has vowed to fight back to restore it to first position, having only ever lost out to Dunnes on one other occasion before last month’s fall into second place. A spokesperson told the Irish Examiner added stores in 2017 were a key focus for the brand.
She said: “SuperValu plans to open three new stores in 2017, adding 190 jobs to the SuperValu network.
“This is part of an overall investment of €35 in store revamps. This follows a recent milestone for the brand, having achieved record sales of €2.67bn in 2016.”
Customer reward schemes are also a priority, she said.
“We remain committed to giving consumers new ways to make even more savings on their grocery shopping, as demonstrated by exciting partnerships with Bank of Ireland and Electric Ireland through our Real Rewards programme and the addition of 100 new hotels to SuperValu Getaway Breaks.”
The locations of the new SuperValu stores have not been revealed. Aldi’s and Lidl’s success is continuing, according to the Kantar figures, with sales rising by 5.3% and 4.1%, respectively.
Over the past 12 weeks Aldi managed to attract an additional 20,000 customers into its stores, while also encouraging them to visit more frequently.
Lidl’s uplift in sales enabled the retailer to increase its share of the market to 10.6%.
The findings are based on Kantar Worldpanel Ireland data for the 12 weeks to February 26. Kantar Worldpanel Ireland monitors the household grocery purchasing habits of 5,000 demographically representative households in the Republic of Ireland.
Having opened the first Dunnes Stores in Cork in 1944, the company has 152 stores throughout Ireland, the UK and Spain, employing almost 15,000 people.
SuperValu has 219 stores nationwide and employs approximately 14,500.
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