Dunnes Stores has claimed the top spot as Ireland’s leading retailer for the 12th consecutive period, growing at 6.4% and claiming 21.6% market share, in the 12 weeks to 11 August 2019.
Tesco claimed 21.5% and SuperValu was close behind with 21.3% of the market share, the latest figures from Kantar showed.
Weather Led Spend
The overall grocery sector increased by 2.7% in the latest period, as cooler weather led to a deviation from typical seasonal spend.
"While certain typical summer categories felt the impact of the mild weather this period, it wasn’t all bad news," highlighted Charlotte James, consumer insight director at Kantar.
"Ice cream and sun care sales were down 17.0% and 41.5% respectively however wine, which is usually more popular in colder months, grew by 13.7%."
James said that all the major retailers took advantage of this, with Tesco particularly benefiting by ramping up promotions in the sector.
"The proportion of wine bought on deal at Tesco increased from 29.6% to 43.8% resulting in category growth of 14.9% for the retailer.”
Aldi and Lidl performed well again during the 12 weeks. Aldi’s showed growth of 12.7% during the period which helped it achieve a record market share of 12.6%.
While Dublin remains a key area for the retailer, Munster and the rest of Leinster are still its heartland and contributed two-thirds of its overall sales increase.
Lidl now accounts for 12.0% of Irish grocery sales and is also particularly popular in Munster, where it increased sales by 12.1%.
Scrutiny over single-use plastic was a major trend this period, with retailers seeking to adapt to changing consumer preferences.
James highlighted that Aldi’s ban on black plastic trays for fruit and veg packaging and SuperValu’s move to 100% compostable shopping bags are direct responses to a change in shopper habits.
"For example, loose fruit sales grew by 6.4% in the latest 12 weeks as pre-packed alternatives declined by 2.3%," she explained.
Lidl has made the most headway in this respect and sold 23% of its fruit loose, the highest proportion of all the retailers.”
Fresh produce as a whole was a clear focus for all the grocers this period.
Dunnes, Tesco and Lidl attempted to demonstrate value through a mix of 49 cent price points while SuperValu and Aldi continued to offer discounts on different product ranges.
Dunnes, enjoyed success with sales of fruit, veg and salads growing by 2.9% – ahead of the market rate.
"The retailer is focusing on differentiating itself from competitors through a range of in-store experiences and this month opened a new premium food hall in Dublin’s Ilac Centre as well as a new site in Naas which focuses on its fresh counters,” James added.
During the period, shoppers made larger but less frequent grocery trips and the average spend per shop increased by 84 cents to €23.29.
Overall, average price growth of 1.1% was a welcome boost for the retailers while the strong euro also contributed to an increase in cross-border shopping in the latest 12 weeks.
“Brexit uncertainties and sterling’s struggles saw cross-border spend increase by 14% compared with this time last year, with much of that on fresh and chilled products," James said.
"However, this still only makes up 0.6% of all sales and remains a small part of the market.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.