Northern Ireland shoppers turn away from corner shops, Kantar reports

Northern Ireland shoppers are spending less in local convenience stores, according to research

NORTHERN Ireland shoppers are turning away from the traditional corner shop, according to the latest supermarket share figures.

Analysts Kantar Worldpanel said the overall consumer spend at so called 'symbols' stores dropped 12.7 per cent in the last year.

It saw the sector's market share drop to 7.6 per cent over the year to January 3 (from 8.9 per cent the previous year).

Although no breakdown by shop brand is provided, the category includes Spar, SuperValu, Mace, Costcutter and Centra among others.

And while the sector sustains a decline in spending, the opposite is true for all other categories - apart from Tesco.

Lidl continues to lead the way in growth terms with its share of spending up 19.7 per cent to give an overall market share of 4.2 per cent.

Tesco remains the north's favourite grocer with 35.9 per cent of the market although its share of spending fell by 1.9 per cent.

Sainsbury and Asda are second and third with market shares of 17.6 per cent and 17.1 per cent respectively.

Overall, the market in Northern Ireland grew by 1.3 per cent.

Figures for the Republic meanwhile showed an upsurge in spending in the last 12 weeks of the year as the market grew by 3.5 per cent.

Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry said it was the first time since March 2013 that all five major supermarkets south of the border had grown sales.

"Shoppers spent an additional €77 million (£58.7m) on groceries compared with the same time last year, with confectionary, crisps and other snacks doing particularly well.

"But it wasn’t just party food that boosted sales, shoppers also spent more on staple items such as fruit, vegetables and eggs. This is a clear sign of increased consumer confidence as shoppers worry less about what they’re spending.”

SuperValu retained its position as the number one retailer in the Republic with sales growth reaching 4.3 per cent over the past 12 weeks and increasing the retailer’s share of the market to 25.1 per cent.

Mr Berry added: “Tesco saw a better performance over Christmas, with sales up marginally versus last year. This is a notable improvement on results for October and November, suggesting things are looking up for the retailer.

“Elsewhere, Dunnes enjoyed a strong sales performance with an increase of 5.6 per cent, improving its market share by half a percentage point to 24 per cent."

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