Dunnes Stores ties with Tesco for second spot

Tesco’s position as the country’s second largest supermarket has come under renewed threat after a period of strong growth from Dunnes Stores saw it draw level with the UK retailer.

Dunnes Stores clawed its way up to an equal 21.6% share of the grocery market after increasing sales by 6.3% in the three months to mid-September; Dunnes had a 21.1% share of the market this time last year while Tesco’s share has fallen from 22.9% in the past 12 months.

The Irish retailer’s success in the past quarter has been achieved by convincing shoppers to purchase more expensive items, according to Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry.

“Larger trips have boosted sales for Dunnes, with the average spend increasing by €2.50 to €37.20 in the latest quarter, compared with the same time last year,” said Mr Berry. 

“Dunnes has tempted shoppers to add more expensive items to their baskets, with the average price per item rising to €2.05 — an increase of 12% on last year.”

While Tesco has seen the value of its sales fall by 2.3% in the past year, it continues to sell more items; in volume terms, its sales have increased 3.1% year-on-year.

The diverging trends of the volume and value of its sales is a reflection of a lower average price point at Tesco, in part due to its ‘Prices Staying Down’ campaign.

Ireland’s largest supermarket is still SuperValu with a 22.4% market share; with sales up 3.1% in annual terms, SuperValu has now recorded three consecutive months of growth over of 3%.

The two German discount supermarkets, Lidl and Aldi, have also continued to increase their sales in the latest set of supermarket results released by consumer insights company, Kantar Worldpanel.

“Lidl’s market share now stands at 11.7% — in line with last year — while sales increased by 4.5%,” Mr Berry said. 

Three core categories have contributed most significantly to the strong performance, with produce, meat and bakery together accounting for €11m of extra sales.

“Lidl has also managed to increase the number of repeat visits its shoppers make, with the average customer returning 11 times over the past 12 weeks compared with fewer than 10 times last year.

“Meanwhile sales growth for Aldi continues to improve, with market share increasing from 11.2% last year to 11.4% in the latest period.”

The grocery market has seen overall sales increasing by 3.7% year-on-year in the past 12 months.

Irish shoppers are paying more at the tills, however, with prices also increasing, by 2.2%, in the most recent 12 week period measured by Kantar Worldpanel.


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