Gro­cery spend in NI hits record high as Lidl’s sales rise by 8% in last year

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY EMMA DEIGHAN

AN­NUAL spend­ing on gro­ceries in North­ern Ire­land is at a record £4,336, up £38 on the same pe­riod last year, new re­search shows.

Kan­tar World­panel’s North­ern Ir­ish su­per­mar­ket share fig­ures for the 52 weeks to Oc­to­ber 7, 2018, show spend has in­creased by 1.4% over the past year in NI.

It also re­vealed that Tesco, which has around 50 stores here, is still at the top of the su­per­mar­ket share leader­board with 35.2% of the gro­cery sec­tor. It is fol­lowed by Sains­bury’s (17.3%) and ASDA (17.1%).

Dou­glas Faugh­nan, con­sumer in­sight di­rec­tor at Kan­tar World­panel said: “Tesco con­tin­ues to lead the field with sales up 1.9%. The su­per­mar­ket’s growth is thanks in no small part to the fact that the av­er­age price paid by Tesco shop­pers has risen by 3.5% in the past 12 months.”

De­spite be­ing fourth on the su­per­mar­ket share board, it was bud­get re­tailer Lidl which claimed the high­est in­crease in sales over the year with a jump of 8.1%.

The Ger­man re­tailer, which has 38 stores here, has also in­creased its su­per­mar­ket share to 5.8%, up 0.4% on last year.

Mr Faugh­nan added: “Lidl con­tin­ues to per­form strongly in North­ern Ire­land, with sales up 8.1% on last year. With the av­er­age prod­uct £0.35 cheaper than the rest of the mar­ket, the gro­cer is con­tin­u­ing to at­tract new shop­pers while en­cour­ag­ing ex­ist­ing cus­tomers to buy more ev­ery time they visit.”

Mean­while, Sains­bury’s has main­tained its po­si­tion in sec­ond place in the su­per­mar­ket sec­tor, con­tin­u­ing its lead over ri­val ASDA.

Sains­bury’s, which has 14 North­ern Ire­land stores, and ASDA, which has 17 stores, are set for a merger next year, should the re­tail­ers’ plans get ap­proval from the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog.

The £12bn move is cur­rently un­der scru­tiny by the Com­pe­ti­tion and Mar­ket Author­ity (CMA) which re­vealed last week that it would take into ac­count the rapid growth of Aldi and Lidl when de­cid­ing whether to ap­prove the mega-merger.

In its lat­est up­date, the CMA said it has broad­ened its scope to not only in­clude the Ger­man dis­coun­ters but non-gro­cery com­peti­tors such as B&M, Ama­zon, and John Lewis & Part­ners.

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