Tesco eyes turnaround as sales decline eases

Tesco is showing early signs of a recovery in the Irish market, with new figures showing a third consecutive quarter of an easing in its sales declines.

The latest grocery market share data from consumer insights agency Kantar Worldpanel covers the 12 weeks to October 12. It shows that German discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to grow market share while the Musgrave-owned SuperValu chain led the way among the Irish players.

The data shows a marginal annualised drop — from 26.5% to 25.1% — in Tesco’s market share for the period, and a 4.6% fall in over-the-counter sales. However, that till sale figure marks an ongoing steady improvement. In the preceding three updates from Kantar, Tesco Ireland’s sales erosion had improved from -6.2% to -5.5% to -5%.

“In a similar story to the UK, Tesco Ireland has seen less share loss than in recent months, posting a sales decline of 4.6%. However, customers are continuing to increase the number of trips they make to Tesco stores, meaning that if the retailer can persuade shoppers to add to their in-store spend, it could be turning a corner in terms of performance,” said Kantar’s consumer insight director, Georgieann Harrington.

With a near-23% share of the grocery market, Dunnes Stores has been the main beneficiary of Tesco’s falling sales. Although the latest data shows a 0.4% year-on-year dip in sales for the 12 weeks under review, it followed five months of consecutive growth for Dunnes and the company has the highest share of so-called ‘big shops’ (categorised as baskets worth more than €100), with a 37.2% share.

The combined market share of the two German discounters is now 16.5%, evenly split, while both boosted over-the-counter sales levels by between 14% and 15% in the past 12 weeks.

Aldi is seeing more shoppers come through its doors and is increasing its share of €50-€100 baskets, while Lidl is seeing existing customers increase their average spend by €18.

Of the Irish players, only SuperValu grew sales in the period, although its market share remained unchanged at 24.6%.

“While SuperValu’s growth has been moderate, its performance has been consistent,” Ms Harrington said.


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