Lidl grabs bigger share of growing Northern Ireland grocery market

Lidl is the fastest growing supermarket retailer in the north, reporting an uplift in sales of 8.2 per cent over the year

GROCERY sales in Northern Ireland grew a further 1.2 per cent in the 52 weeks to July 14, with Lidl once again driving up its share of the multiple market.

THE latest Kantar data shows that Lidl is far and away the fastest growing supermarket retailer in the north, reporting an uplift in sales of 8.2 per cent over the year.

Tesco was the only one of the big three chains to report growth, although only marginally (0.7 per cent). It remains the largest retailer in the north, accounting for 35 per cent of the market - slightly done on the same period last year (35.2 per cent).

Both Sainsbury's and Asda, whose proposed merger was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier this year, reported declines in sales over year of 0.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

They remain some distance behind Tesco, with both retailer's market share also falling - Sainsbury's by 0.3 per cent to 17.1 per cent and Asda from 17.2 to 16.9 per cent.

Lidl now commands 6 per cent of the Northern Ireland market and increased sales over the year pushed its proportion of consumer spend up 0.4 per cent.

While the multiples make up the bulk of the overall grocery market in the north, symbol retailers like Spar still command an 8.1 per cent market share. The total increased slightly on the previous year (8 per cent) and is driven by a annual sales boost of 1.7 per cent.

The data further reveals that the average shopper in the north made smaller, but more frequent trips to the retailers over the course of the year, with the overall volume of groceries purchased down by 0.5 per cent. However an average inflation rate of 2.2 per cent over the year ensures the market remains on an upward trajectory.

Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar, said Lidl is becoming a major player in the local market.

“Lidl remains the fastest growing retailer in the north, with sales up 8.2 per cent for the year. While more than three quarters of Northern Irish consumers visited Lidl at least once in the past 12 months, the retailer’s growth has largely come through shoppers increasing the amount they spend per trip by over £1.70, raising the average value of a Lidl shop in Northern Ireland to £16.07," he said.

“Tesco, which now accounts for 35 per cent of grocery sales in Northern Ireland, is the only one of the big three retailers currently enjoying sales growth, with Sainsbury’s and Asda in decline by 0.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

“Asda continues to perform strongly with families, which account for 34 per cent of the retailer’s sales. Sainsbury’s typically attracts an older profile of shopper – retired people and empty-nesters account for more than half of sales," Mr Faughnan added.

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