Clean sweep for retailers as Bank Holidays boost growth
Sales in the Irish grocery market hit record levels as shoppers splashed out €208.2 million in the Easter week alone helping the overall sector grow by 4.1% in the 12 weeks to 21 April 2019, according to the latest figures from Kantar. Meanwhile, SuperValu’s return to growth means all the major retailers are once again on an upward trajectory, with Dunnes taking the crown of the nation’s largest grocer for the eighth consecutive period.
Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar, comments: “With both the St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday and the Easter weekend giving shoppers cause for celebration over the past 12 weeks, there have been plenty of excuses for people to get in store and spend. Shopper visits to the major retailers grew by 1.3% on last year, yielding an additional €28.7 million of value. Consumers spent a total of €44 million on Easter eggs leading up to Easter Sunday, while fresh lamb, a traditional favourite, generated €29 million.”
Dunnes posted sales growth of 6.1% on its way to retaining the number one position – the highest increase the retailer has seen since November 2016. Douglas Faughnan explains: “Dunnes has continued to push towards premium items through its Simply Better collection and partnerships with specialists like James Whelan Butchers and Sheridans Cheesemongers. Encouragingly for Dunnes, shoppers appear to be happy to spend more in-store. The average price paid at the retailer is up 1.9% on last year, generating an extra €10 million in sales.”
Douglas Faughnan continues: “Tesco’s growth of 2.8% is its strongest of the year so far. It’s all the more impressive that the retailer has managed to maintain increasing sales considering at this time last year it was growing at 6.2%. Tesco’s own label offer now accounts for 47% of its sales and is increasing at 4.3%, boosting the retailer’s overall performance.”
SuperValu’s return to growth this period was bolstered by a robust performance in fresh food. Fresh lamb, fish and beef sales were up by 13.2%, 12.8% and 11.0% respectively – underpinning the retailer’s reputation as a traditionally strong performer among Easter dinner staples.
Aldi and Lidl, while continuing to perform strongly in Dublin, are making major gains outside of the capital as well. Douglas Faughnan comments: “Growth of 18% for Aldi in the Connaught and Ulster region was the strongest increase recorded by any retailer in any one region, while Lidl’s 13% growth in Munster makes it the fastest growing grocer in the southern provinces.”