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Steven Maxwell


Discounters benefit from economic woes

Aldi and Lidl are benefiting from the current financial squeeze on households and are increasing their marketshare in the UK, reveals new figures

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The economic squeeze on household incomes in the UK appears to be having a positive effect for German discounters Aldi and Lidl, while the Walmart-owned Asda chain has also experienced an increase in sales.

According to the latest TNS Worldpanel grocery market share figures, published today (19 September) for the 12 weeks ending 7 September 2008, the boost in sales for the retailers confirms the trend seen during the last TNS report, with shoppers responding to strong low-price messages.

TNS Worldpanel’s director of research, Edward Garner, said the sharp turnover increases for Aldi and Lidl – of 20.8 per cent and 11.1 per cent respectively – were being driven by younger, larger families responding to the squeeze on their housekeeping.

For the top four UK grocery chains, trends continued largely as before with over 9 per cent growth for Asda and Morrisons and small share dips for Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The analyst said it was worth noting that in terms of 12-weekly till roll shares, 17.3 per cent was a record for Asda.

Mr Garner added that in the current climate it was “perhaps inevitable” that Waitrose had come under pressure with growth held back to 3.2 per cent year-on-year resulting in the retailer’s marketshare dipping by 0.1 points to 3.8 per cent.

TNS found that in total, turnover in the UK grocery sector grew by 7.3 per cent compared with last year, although it stressed that this hid the fact that volumes were largely static with inflation fuelling the sterling sales.

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