Lidl enjoys strongest performance of all supermarkets, survey reports
LIDL was the only retailer here to bump up its share of the grocery market last month as the big three all saw their slice of the sector drop.
The German retailer, which has 38 stores in Northern Ireland, also had the highest increase in sales, according to Kantar's grocery market share figures for the 52 weeks to June.
It also revealed that Lidl increased its take home grocery sales by 7.6% compared to the same period last year. It saw its share of the market rise from 5.6% to 6%.
The survey showed that total grocery sales here grew by 1.4% over the same period as higher prices and smaller, more frequent grocery trips buoyed the market.
Tesco, which has the largest market share here at 35.1%, experienced a drop of 0.1% in its slice of the market. However, its sales rose by 1%.
The chain, which has around 50 stores in the province, was followed by Sainsbury's and Asda on the grocery league table. Both retailers saw their share of the market drop by 0.3% and 0.2% to 17.1% and 16.9% respectively while their sales rose by 0.1% and 0.2%.
Out of Northern Ireland's top four supermarkets, Sainsbury's and Asda - with 14 and 17 stores respectively - saw the slowest growth.
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It comes after a turbulent year for the retailers, in which their proposed mega-merger was scrutinised and finally blocked by the competition regulator in April.
Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar, said Lidl's growth is largely due to its existing shoppers spending more.
"Lidl has broken the 6% market share threshold for the first time following growth of 7.6% over the past year. The retailer's success is largely thanks to existing shoppers putting more items in their baskets. The average Lidl trolley now contains two more items than it did last year, helping to drive volume growth of 6.7%."
He added more than nine out of 10 households here have shopped in Tesco over the last year, ensuring it remains in the top spot.
"With modest growth of 0.1% and 0.2%, Sainsbury's and Asda remain some distance behind Tesco, with shares of 17.1% and 16.9% respectively," Mr Faughan said.
Sainsbury's growth is down to increased footfall, while Asda's stems from existing shoppers' increased spend in store, he added.