With the Irish economy now firing on all cylinders, the retail sector continues to grow according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel figures which indicate an increase in shopper spend of 3.8% in the 12 weeks to the end of January. This was up on the Christmas period which notched up a growth of 3.5%.
The Kantar figures show that SuperValu remains Ireland’s number one retailer, with 25% of the grocery market and a strong 4.4% growth in sales during the period.
With a number of high profile outlets benefitting from a major refurbishment over the past 12 months, Dunnes enjoyed the strongest rate of growth of the top three supermarkets with sales up 5.1% compared with last year. This is due in part to larger shopping trips – Dunnes has successfully encouraged shoppers to spend an additional €1.70 on average every time they visit the store.
With a market share of 24.1%, however, Dunnes continues to trail Tesco which had a market share of 24.5%, up 1.1% on the previous period.
The German discounters, Lidl and Aldi, continue to slog it out with the former slightly ahead of its rival on a market share of 8.0% while the latter ended the period with 7.9%. At 11.7%, however, Lidl, reported the biggest growth in the market with sales increasing by 11.7% according to the figures.
“The increased consumer confidence we saw over Christmas has continued, with little indication that shoppers are tightening their belts after the festive period. Combined with a 0.4 percentage point increase in price inflation over the past 12 weeks, this means that consumers have been spending more on their grocery shopping than this time last year,” according to Georgieann Harrington, insight director with Kantar Worldpanel.
“Tesco is still in second place, half a percentage point behind SuperValu, with a 24.5% share of the grocery market. However, sales growth of 1.1% makes this the most positive performance Tesco has seen since November 2012, so things are still looking up for the retailer.
“Elsewhere, Lidl has now seen double digit growth for the fourth consecutive 12 weekly period. The retailer is successfully driving growth across the board, with a higher number of shoppers visiting its stores more often and spending a larger amount each time. Aldi also posted a positive performance, with sales 2.9% higher than in 2015. The main growth driver for Aldi has been an increase in customer numbers: almost 65% of all Irish households visited the retailer within the past 12 weeks, compared with just shy of 63% a year ago.”