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Irish grocery market growing, but uncertain future



Continued growth for the grocery market with sales rising by 2.5% compared with last year

Continued growth for the grocery market with sales rising by 2.5% compared with last year

The latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, published today for the 12 weeks ending 19 June 2016, show continued growth for the grocery market with sales rising by 2.5% compared with last year.

Georgieann Harrington, insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “We’ve seen the average spend per household increase by €27 this year. While higher prices have played a small part, this growth is primarily the result of an increased number of shopping trips: the average household has made 62 visits on average over the past 12 weeks, compared with 58 trips last year. With the number of items per basket also falling, we’re seeing a return to the tendency to shop ‘little and often’.”

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“While the grocery market is in growth, the landscape remains competitive. With the recent EU referendum result and the weakening of the pound (£) against the euro (€), it could be that we see Irish shoppers return to old habits: during the recession many headed across the border in search of better value at UK retailers in Northern Ireland. Cross-border shopping only accounted for 0.3% of Irish grocery sales in the latest 12 week period, but at the peak of the recession this stood at 4.1%.”

With the exception of Tesco, all of the major retailers increased sales in the past 12 weeks, with Dunnes Stores posting the strongest performance and growing sales by 5.9%. The retailer attracted an extra 13,000 shoppers to its stores this year with the average spend increasing by almost €20.

Lidl posted the second highest sales growth – 5.8% – which was mainly the result of attracting an additional 55,000 shoppers. Aldi sales grew by 3.6% in the latest quarter, with the discounter also recruiting an impressive 37,000 customers versus last year. However a combination of flat shopper numbers and only marginal increases in average spend mean Aldi continues to lag behind Lidl.

Georgieann Harrington continues: “SuperValu retains its position as Ireland’s largest retailer, growing its sales by 1.4% and capturing 22.6% of market share. SuperValu’s success is largely down to persuading the average shopper to spend an extra €14 per trip, no doubt driven by its ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ campaign.

“Sales remain challenging for Tesco in second place: the retailer saw a decline of 2.7% in the past 12 weeks. It’s not all bad news for Ireland’s number two retailer though, with the number of visits to its stores edging up: from 14 on average last year to 15 this year.”

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David Berry

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