Lidl adds sales despite slowing growth in Northern Ireland grocer sector
Nearly 95% of households here visited a Tesco supermarket in the last year, according to new figures.
But the report by information company Kantar said growth in the Northern Ireland grocery market had slowed to 0.7% over the year, despite Tesco's continued strong performance
Kantar said that Lidl, which has 38 stores in the province, was the fastest-growing grocer over the last 52 weeks, increasing sales by 6.6%.
Tesco, which has around 50 stores here, also increased its sales by 0.5%, but Sainsbury's and Asda both reported shrinking sales, with Sainsbury's sales down 0.9% and Asda sales down 1.2%. Sainsbury's has 14 stores here, while Asda has 17.
Tesco is Northern Ireland's biggest grocer, with a market share of 35.1%. Sainsbury's is the second biggest supermarket here, with a 17.1% share, while Asda has a 16.7% slice of the market.
And while Lidl claims the fastest growth in sales, it has the smallest market share of the four main supermarkets, at 6.1%.
However, that was up from 5.8% over the same period a year earlier.
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But Asda's market share has seen the biggest fall over the year, from 17.1%.
Charlotte Scott, consumer insight director at Kantar, said Tesco was the only big three retailer to achieve growth. But the average number of items bought by its shoppers was down by 14.2% - though shoppers were making nine more trips over the last 52 months than over the year before.
She said that 94.6% of households were now buying from Tesco. In comparison, just 71% had visited Sainsbury's, while 79.7% had popped into Asda.
And as well as growing its sales, Lidl was reporting an 8% increase in average spend per trip. And more people were visiting Lidl, with 75.6% of shoppers spending their money there over the year.