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Tesco and Asda are Northern Ireland's favourite supermarkets, says latest report

By Rachel Martin

Asda is now the second most popular supermarket in Northern Ireland, latest figures show.

With 17.4% of the market share, almost one-fifth of the food, alcohol, household, health and beauty products bought here were purchased at one of the chain's 17 stores - according to Kantar Worldpanel.

It means the chain - owned by US firm Walmart - has overtaken Sainsbury's to claim the number two spot for the third time this year, after growing its share by 0.8%.

Sainsbury's sold 17.3% of groceries here in its 13 Northern Ireland stores in the 52 weeks to December 4 - a fall of 0.8%.

But Tesco remains ahead of its two main competitors at number one. More than one-third (34.6%) of groceries were bought in the chain's 50 stores.

Discount retailer Lidl grew its market share by 1.2% to reach 5.2% of the market.

The German chain has 38 stores across the region and has continued to push its range of Northern Ireland produce.

At one point last year, Sainsbury's was well ahead of Asda with 17.6% of the market here compared to 17.3%.

Symbol retailers saw their market share in Northern Ireland plunge by 5.5% to 8.5%.

Tesco's continued dominance comes as it marks 20 years in Northern Ireland. The firm has said it's contributed £5.7bn to the local economy.

Tesco arrived in Northern Ireland in 1996 when it bought 34 Stewarts and Crazy Prices stores. It was followed by Sainsbury's in December that year and Asda in 2005.

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