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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 23 November, 2014

Tesco’s position as top Irish supermarket choice is looking increasingly shaky

No prizes for guessing who the UK seller is losing ground to…

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

BRITISH POWERHOUSE RETAILER Tesco’s grip on the top spot among grocery retailers is looking increasingly tenuous, as it loses market share to the major German discounters.

The British company now controls 25.4% of consumer spend compared to 27% a year ago, a fall of 5.5% overall. While it is still the largest grocer in the country, it is just 0.4% ahead of SuperValu.

Its troubles aren’t limited to Ireland, with chief executive Philip Clarke forced from his job after poor performance earlier this summer.

Both Tesco and SuperValu, which also lost 0.4% of its market share, will be anxiously looking over their shoulders as the relentless march of Aldi and Lidl continues.

The latest figures from industry experts Kantar Worldpanel show the German pair control a total of 17% of the market, up from 12.9% a year ago. Lidl demands slightly more of the Irish consumer spend on 8.5%, while compatriot Aldi is on 8.4%.

Some 65% of Irish households have purchased their groceries from Lidl at some stage over the last 12 weeks, according to Kantar commercial director David Berry, which is 46,000 more shoppers than a year ago.

Kantar

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

“This increased footfall has helped to boost its share of the market to a record 8.5%.”

Meanwhile, Aldi “is still growing ahead of the competition thanks to increased numbers of shoppers visiting the store more frequently and spending more per trip”.

Dunnes and SuperValu have managed to entice more shoppers through their doors, with  41,000 and 60,000 more customers respectively than this time last year.

Price war

Meanwhile, Kantar said that Irish shoppers are the main beneficiaries of a price war at the nation’s supermarkets that is driving grocery costs down as retailers compete for market share.

Figures show that grocery price inflation has fallen to 1.5%, the lowest level since March 2012.

Kantar commercial director David Berry said that “the intense price competition between Ireland’s larger grocers doesn’t show any signs of letting up”.

This has led to falling prices across a number of staple food and drink items. We have seen prices fall across popular products and vegetables, bread and milk are now all cheaper than this time last year.

Read: We’re buying more groceries, but which supermarkets are winning?>

Read: Dunnes Stores’ recovery continues with another month of increased footfall>

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