Dunnes increased its market share to 24.3% and posted sales growth of 1.9% for the 12 weeks ending 23 December 2012, according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland.
These figures were well ahead of the market growth rate of 0.3% and regain some of the lost ground experienced by Dunnes in recent months. In the same period last year, Dunnes market share stood at 23.9%, while in the previous 12-week period to this one (to 25 November 2012), it boasted a market share of 23.2%.
Speaking to Retail Intelligence, David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel, said that it seems Dunnes has turned a corner: "If you look at the trend in market share you can see an immediate upswing from September onwards. When Dunnes are performing well in the market, their market share creeps above 24% and this is the first time this has happened in a number of years. While history shows that the retailer does well at Christmas, it will be interesting to see how this goes into the New Year. It has been very active in recent months, and if it continues with that then its share should hold."
Overall, however, growth across the grocery market remains subdued at just 0.3%, despite an increase in price inflation to 5%. One of the biggest factors influencing the price of groceries was the poor growing conditions seen during the summer of 2012. "I'm quite surprised that consumers have been able to offset this level of inflation. It's now at 5%, and with the market flat, that's a big gap that people have been managing to trade down. We would have though that the market would be showing more growth than it has done," says Berry.
As with previous months, Aldi continued to post exceptional sales growth of 30% for the period, compared to the same period last year, with its market share overtaking Lidl for the first time to become the fourth ranked grocery retailer in the country. "We expect that Aldi will continue in this way for some time to come. Their growth has been so consistent and they've got new stores in the pipline so we anticipate that Aldi will remain the strongest grower in the market," says Berry.
In spite of this, there was, however, evidence that shoppers switched their spending back to traditional supermarkets over Christmas. Aldi and Lidl achieved a combined 12.6% market share in October, which dipped to 11.9% in the latest month. "One of the trends of Christmas time is that the share of the discounters does slip back to the traditional supermarkets and while this has also been true this year, it hasn't fallen back as much as has in previous years, which would suggest that Lidl and Aldi are capturing a bit more of that spend," says Berry.
Elsewhere, Tesco and SuperValu have both performed broadly in line with the market, with Tesco holding market share at 27.8% and SuperValu dipping marginally to 19.5%. Superquinn boasted a market share of 5.1%, compared to 5.4% in the same period last year.