Belfast Telegraph

Lidl only supermarket giant to increase Northern Ireland market share

An artist’s impression of the new Lidl Holywood Exchange store
An artist’s impression of the new Lidl Holywood Exchange store

By Mark McConville

German discounter Lidl was the only supermarket to increase its market share in Northern Ireland over the past year, according to the latest industry report.

The figures from research company Kantar Worldpanel show Lidl, which has 38 stores here, increased its market share by 0.4% to 6.1% while its sales grew by 7.6%.

Tesco, which has around 50 stores across the province in a number of sizes, saw its market share drop by 0.3 percentage points to 35% but it was once again the only big three retailer to achieve growth, a modest 0.1%.

Sales at Sainsbury's, which has 14 stores here, and Asda, with 17 stores, declined by 0.2% and 0.7% respectively as Sainsbury's saw its market share drop by 0.2 percentage points to 17.1%.

Asda's share was down 0.3%, which left it with a 16.8% share of the market.

Overall, Northern Irish grocery sales have continued to grow at 1% over the past year with the big supermarkets enjoying an 83.8% share of the market, a drop of 0.4%.

Charlotte Scott, consumer insight director at Kantar, said that consumers are now buying less each time they shop.

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"This is offset by the fact that they're visiting the supermarkets more often, on average heading to the grocers nearly 12 extra times over the course of the year," she added.

"Volumes have declined by 0.4%, a slight softening, with a 1.5% increase in prices driving growth in the overall market.

"Tesco is following a similar trend to the overall market, with the average number of items bought per trip down by 14.4%, although shoppers made an additional nine trips to the retailer over these 52 weeks.

"Sainsbury's has attracted an additional 30,000 customers over the past 12 months, with 71% of Northern Irish households visiting the retailer over the year, but smaller baskets and less frequent trips have contributed to an overall decline in sales.

"At Asda, an increase in shopper frequency has failed to offset a smaller average basket size, though overall customer numbers have returned to growth of 0.6%."

She added: "Lidl is the only retailer to buck the trend and increase its market share this period, growing by 0.4 percentage points. Sales were up 7.6%, helped by an additional 8,000 customers and an increase in the average basket size to 15 items per trip compared to 14 last year."

Other grocery stores including stores like Marks & Spencer and Dunnes Stores saw a 0.1% rise in their market share, leaving them with 8.8%.

Smaller shops, including Centra and Spar, also saw a 0.1% rise in market share to 8% while other outlets made up the difference with 8.2% share of the market, a rise of 0.3%.

Belfast Telegraph