Belfast Telegraph

Sainsbury’s eclipsed by Asda in Northern Ireland grocery wars

By Margaret Canning

Asda has overtaken Sainsbury’s as Northern Ireland’s second most popular supermarket behind Tesco, according to latest figures.

Kantar Worldpanel’s stats for the year ending September 13 show Asda had grown its share by 2.1% to account for 17.5% of spending in Northern Ireland, compared to a 17.4% share for Sainsbury’s.

And growth for German discounter Lidl was also at 2.1%, giving it a 5.2% share of the market.

Tesco still held the biggest share of supermarket spending at 34.6% — though it was down 0.2% on the year before. But Sainsbury’s fall was steeper at 0.5%.

By growing its market share in Northern Ireland, Asda has bucked the trend felt in the UK as a whole.

The chain posted a 7.5% fall in like-for-like sales in the second quarter of this year — its worst quarterly performance on record.

But a spokesman for Asda told the Belfast Telegraph that Northern Ireland, where it has 17 stores, is one of its strongest markets.

Lidl has 38 stores here, though its regional director Conor Boyle has said the market is big enough for another 12. Tesco has around 50 stores and Sainsbury’s 13.

Meanwhile, Lidl rival Aldi has said it will invest £300m in store revamps after another year of record sales — up 12% to £7.7bn.

The German firm again denied suggestions it could open in Northern Ireland. Asked if it would consider the move, a spokesman said: “No comment.”

Belfast Telegraph