Aldi And Lidl Remain Britain's Fastest Growing Grocers

Gladys Abbott
January 10, 2018

Supermarket grocery sales rose by £1bn over the festive period as shoppers traded up to premium products.

Separate market share figures from Nielsen, which were also released today, indicated that shoppers spent nearly £500 million more on groceries in December compared to the prior year, with Tesco also seeing the largest sales growth of the Big 4 in the final quarter.

However, market share growth at Aldi and Lidl continued to outpace the Big 4, with the German discounters both recording sales rises of 16.8 per cent. Shoppers parted with £747 million on 22 December alone, making the Friday before Christmas the busiest shopping day ever recorded.

Despite this, the grocer's market share declined by 0.2 percentage points to 15.3 per cent. This is the lowest level of promotional activity at Christmas since 2009.

"Overall supermarket sales increased in value by 3.8%, with an additional GBP1 billion ringing through the tills compared to the same festive period previous year".

"Rising to the challenge, Aldi and Lidl collectively managed to attract almost one million additional households during the past three months".

Grocery spend in the four weeks ending December 30 hit £10.5 billion, equivalent to a 3.7% year-on-year rise, according to new data released today by Nielsen. This is the fastest sales growth the retailer has seen since June, helped by a 6.4% increase in sales of standard Tesco own label.

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Despite tightening household budgets, overall supermarket sales increased by 3.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2017, with spending up by £1 billion on past year, according to Kantar.

Asda's sales increased by 2.2%, while Morrisons posted a 2.1% hike in sales, which it has attributed to resisting hiking prices despite surging costs.

However, Tesco's market share has dropped to 27.5% in the 12 weeks ended December 30, unchanged from the comparable period a year earlier, while Sainsbury's fell to 15.5% from 15.8%, Asda fell to 14.2% from 14.4% and Morrisons fell to 10.2% from 10.4%, Nielsan data showed.

Sales at Waitrose increased by 2.3%, but fell by 0.2% at Co-op, as the retailers captured 5.2% and 5.8% of the market respectively.

Keith Richardson, managing director retail sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "Despite what were arguably the toughest festive trading conditions in a generation, Christmas still provided a boost for all the major supermarkets with shoppers absorbing rising prices to treat themselves".

Overall online supermarket sales enjoyed their biggest ever Christmas: up 4.9 per cent year-on-year.

Online sales played a key part in the month with 18% of households shopping online for groceries in December (up from 16% last year).

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