Grocery growth dips following bumper Christmas
Retailers have not sustained the same level of strong growth achieved over the Christmas period
The latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, published today for the 12 weeks ending 29 January 2017, reveal that retailers have not sustained the same level of strong growth achieved over the Christmas period. Grocery sales growth fell to 3.0%, down from 4.6% last month.
David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Dunnes Stores has returned to first place, capturing 22.7% share – only the second time it has managed to reach the top, having first held this position in November last year. This will be welcome news for the retailer but there should be some concern that its sales growth has dipped to 3.6% – the lowest level seen in more than a year.
“The slowdown in overall market growth has led to even stronger competition between the major supermarkets and it’s tight at the top of the market share table – only 0.3 percentage points separate Dunnes Stores, SuperValu and Tesco. This points to a good year for consumers as the retailers battle each other fiercely for their all-important grocery spend, keeping price inflation low. Grocery prices are only 0.7% higher than they were this time last year – which for the average shopper only amounts to an extra 17 cents per trip.”
The supply issues affecting fresh produce in the last few weeks have contributed to the dampening of the overall market. David Berry comments: “Southern Europe might be suffering from continuing rainfall but it’s having a substantial impact on Irish shopping baskets. Courgettes, cauliflower and spinach have all seen volume sales drop by at least 20% while a host of other categories including lettuce and cabbages have been affected to a lesser degree.”
Elsewhere, Aldi continues to set the pace as the fastest growing retailer. Shoppers are now visiting the retailer 8.7 times every 12 weeks, compared to 8.1 times for the same period last year, and this has helped to increase sales by 6.3%. Aldi now captures 10.6% of the grocery market, ahead of the 10.3% from last year.
Meanwhile, almost three quarters of Irish shoppers visited a Lidl store in the past 12 weeks; having encouraged another 26,000 new consumers through its doors the retailer has posted positive sales growth of 2.8%.