Shrinking baskets in shifting supermarket shares

Grocery sales in Northern Ireland's main supermarkets are down 0.6 per cent on where they were a year ago

VOLUME sales have continued to decline in the Northern Irish grocery market and are now down 0.6 per cent on where they were a year ago, latest figures from retail monitors Kantar reveal.

More frequent trips by shoppers and an average price rise of 1p per item failed to outweigh the impact of falling basket sizes, which dropped by 3.6 per cent.

Sales at Asda and Sainsbury's decreased in January by 2.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively, and although basket sizes have continued to grow at Asda – bucking the market trend to rise by 2.2 per cent – the retailer has seen fewer shoppers coming through its doors.

Meanwhile at Sainsbury's, increases in shopper frequency, by 3.1 per cent, and pack price, by 0.4 per cent, were not enough to outweigh falling shopper numbers and basket sizes.

Overall, Lidl was again the best performing retailer, gaining 0.2 percentage points this period, increasing its market share to 6.1 per cent.

Though basket sizes fell into decline in line with the wider market, this was eclipsed by shoppers visiting Lidl more often. Growth was also driven by a rise in pack prices, suggesting that shoppers were choosing more premium options in store.

Tesco enjoyed the greatest increase in market share, up by 0.6 percentage points to 35.7 per cent – the retailer's highest share for over four years. Tesco customers made an average of six more trips to the retailer this year, counteracting falling basket sizes.

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