Lidl now fastest growing supermarket in NI as it increases share of spending to 7%
Discount supermarket Lidl is Northern Ireland's fastest-growing supermarket with a 7% increase in its share of grocery spending here, latest figures show.
And overall, research organisation Kantar Worldpanel said Northern Ireland consumers had boosted their supermarket spending, with overall growth of 2.1%.
That was the province's strongest year-on-year growth since May 2014.
Customers at the 39 stores in Northern Ireland run by the German retailer were now spending an extra £1.37 per trip on average.
But Tesco remains NI's biggest supermarket, with sales growth of 3.3% in the 52 weeks to March 2018.
Its market share was also well-ahead of its next biggest rival at 35.2%.
Sainsbury's had the second-biggest supermarket share at 17.3% - more than 50% below that of Tesco. Its share of spending was up 2.5%.
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Asda had growth of 1% in sales but its market share fell t0 17.1%.
Last week, Asda announced plans to build its 18th store in Northern Ireland at the former site of collapsed US telecommunications company Nortel near Newtownabbey.
Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "Tesco continues to pull further ahead of the field.
"The retailer has encouraged shoppers to splash out an extra £72.80 on groceries compared to this time last year, contributing to sales growth of 3.3%.
"Sainsbury's has also performed well, increasing its market share to 17.3% to remain the second largest grocer in the market.
"Lidl has seen the greatest year-on-year growth of all the major supermarkets at 6.8%, with shoppers spending an extra £1.37 per trip.
"Although Asda experienced growth of 1.0% as more customers visited the store more often, its market share has fallen 0.2 percentage points to 17.1%."
The category of other multiples - including retailers like Irish grocer Dunnes and Marks & Spencer - saw a very slight fall in its market share to 8.7%, though spending in its stores was up 1.4%.
But the market share of 'symbol' retailers including names like Spar, Centra and Mace, was down from 8.6% to 8.2%, with spending also down 2.6%. It was the only category to see a fall in spending.
Asda, which is owned by US firm Walmart, has submitted notice of its intention to apply for a new 40,000 sq ft site on Doagh Road, Newtownabbey.
The site would also include 450 car parking spaces and a petrol filling station.