Ulster Grocer

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Symbols and Lidl lead value growth in local grocery sector


Symbol retailers and Lidl have once again made the biggest gains in the Northern Ireland grocery market, posting value sales growth of 26% and 20.5% respectively in the latest figures from Kantar.

The discount retailer far outperformed 8.1% growth in value sales for the multiple retail sector overall, while other retailers such as butchers and greengrocers posted sales growth of 20.9% in the 52 weeks to January 24.

The total local grocery market grew its value sales by 13.9% over the year, including a 13.4% boost in the last 12 weeks to January 24.

“After almost a full year of national lockdowns and restrictions, we visited stores an average of 20 times fewer than we did the year before the pandemic,” said Emer Healy, retail analyst at Kantar.

“With people eating more meals at home and adding more items to their trolleys, volume per trip soared by 18.1% year on year as shoppers picked up an average of two additional items each time they visited the supermarket.

“Lidl increased sales by 20.5% and achieved the strongest growth among the retailers. The grocer successfully recruited more shoppers which contributed an additional £5.9m to its overall takings this period.

“Asda’s sales rose by 9.3% this period with its success driven by shoppers putting more groceries in their trolleys in the store than in any other retailer. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s regulars also continued to pick up more items during their shop which boosted its sales by £61.2m and helped the supermarket achieve growth of 13.7%.

“Tesco maintained its crown as Northern Ireland’s biggest grocer, taking 35.1% of the market this period and increasing its sales by 12.2%. More than nine in 10 Northern Irish households have visited the store during 2021.

“Shoppers continued to look for ways to treat themselves as we all spent more time at home and, with pubs and bars closed, sales of alcohol increased by 37.9% year on year. Confectionery and savoury treats also proved popular this period, with sales growing ahead of the total market at 15.7% and 18.2% respectively.”

Ulster Grocer