Belfast Telegraph

Tesco consolidates number one spot

By Rachel Martin

Tesco is pulling ahead of the competition to hold on to its position as Northern Ireland's most popular supermarket as its market share continues to grow.

More than a third of all food, alcohol, household, health and beauty products bought here were purchased at one of the chain's stores, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

The chain saw its Northern Ireland customers spend 2% more on groceries in the 52 weeks between January 2016 and January 2017.

Tesco, which has around 50 stores of varying sizes in Northern Ireland, was also the only of the four top supermarkets to increase market share, with its slice of the cake now at 34.7%.

The news comes as the company announces it has decided to continue running Year of Food and Drink events following Tourism NI's year-long celebration of the industry.

Tesco had spent half-a-million pounds promoting Northern Ireland produce during the Year of Food and Drink.

Overall, the total spend on groceries in Northern Ireland was up 1.3% in the 12 months leading up to January 1 2017, compared to the year before.

However, the combined market share of the region's biggest multiple retailers dropped, falling from 84.1% to 83.5%.

Sainsbury's, which has 13 stores in Northern Ireland, was the only supermarket to see its grocery spend drop, with a fall of 1%. It saw the biggest drop in market share, sitting at 17.2% - down 0.4% on the 12 months before.

And Asda - which is owned by US giant Walmart - continued to claim the number two spot from Sainsbury's.

Asda, which has 17 stores in Northern Ireland, sat at 17.4% of consumer grocery spend compared to with 17.2% spent at Sainsbury's.

German discount retailer Lidl's market share remained stagnant at 5.2% though its share of spending was up 0.9%. The chain has 38 stores here.

Other outlets - independents, greengrocers, butchers and stores such as Boots - were able to grow their share of the market from 7% to 7.9% compared to the previous year. Total spend in these outlets rose by 13.6%.

It comes after several large retailers said they had a better than expected Christmas.

Tesco reported a 0.7% increase in UK like-for-like sales during the six weeks leading up to January 7, while Sainsbury's posted a 0.1% rise. And Morrisons, which no longer operates in Northern Ireland, announced a 2.9% rise in like-for-like sales.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer, which has 18 stores across the province, announced a return to growth in clothing sales.

Belfast Telegraph

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