Irish retailers enjoyed their best Christmas since 2010, according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 4 January.
Sales were shown to grow 1.1% during the period, as consumer confidence in the economy increased.
Georgieann Harrington, insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “Growing confidence in the economy meant shoppers relaxed the purse strings this Christmas, visiting the supermarkets more often in the seasonal period than last year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, festive shoppers reached for the treats, and sales of confectionery grew by 6%, crisps and snacks were up by 3% and soft drinks enjoyed a 2% sales growth.”
While there may be some concern about a sales slump post-Christmas, Harrington said that the festive season traditionally lends itself to inflated spending as shoppers entertain over Christmas. "In the period following Christmas last year, we saw an increase in the level of decline, and we would expect growth to slow as consumers return to routine habits.”
Meanwhile the top three supermarkets continue to battle it out for supermarket share, with less than two percentage points separating them. Tesco remains Ireland’s largest supermarket with 25.4% share, and reported its best performance since May 2013 thanks to an increase in customers.
Harrington said, "The period for the 12 weeks ending 4 January 2015 saw a decline in sales of -2%; the best performance we’ve seen from the retailer since May 2013.
"This is partly due to a slight increase in footfall through its doors. In addition, traditional Christmas dinner items saw a decline in price this year, from €153 to €134. While the retailer experienced a decline in sales value, by offering customers more for their money, this translated into a better performance in terms of volume."
Following closely behind is SuperValu, which holds 25% market share and enjoyed a 0.3% increase in sales in the period. Harrington said, “Almost three-quarters of all Irish households visited the retailer in the past 12 weeks, with 52,000 new shoppers enticed through the doors by its value-for-money positioning.”
Meanwhile Dunnes held firm at 23.5%, despite a decline in footfall, and posted sales almost exactly in line with last year.
With regards to the discounters, Lidl and Aldi topped off an excellent year with sales growth of 15.0% and 12.2% respectively. Harrington said, “A strong Christmas extends an impressive run that has seen each retailer enjoy double digit sales growth for 14 successive months.”
“The battle for market share looks set to continue well into 2015. With the top three retailers separated by the narrowest of margins, it really is all to play for in the coming months,” she concluded. Grocery inflation stands at 1.8% for the 12 week period ending 4 January 2015, down marginally from 1.9% last period.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson