Ireland’s retail industry experienced a ‘buoyant’ performance this year, as robust sales have failed to reach the peaks of the weather boosted summer of last year.
This is according to new figures from Kantar Worldpanel, which show that, in the 12 weeks to 16th June, Ireland’s grocery market saw a sales increase of 4.6%.
The performance was mainly offset by ‘hot weather categories’ which experienced a surge in popularity this time last year have dipped in line with the falling temperatures.
Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar, noted that last June was one of the hottest in years, with over 100 more hours of sunshine than the year before.
“The first half of June this year has been a different story, with fewer opportunities to sunbathe and socialise outdoors,” Faughan said.
He revealed that this has led to sales of ice cream and sun care products declining dramatically on last year – down 9.2% and 38.0% respectively.
“Drinks sales have also experienced a slowdown,” Faughan explained, “While cider was a particularly popular choice this time last year, its current growth of 0.1% is considerably lower than the 14% experienced last summer.”
Last summer would have been greatly boosted by the men’s football World Cup. Kantar did add, however, that there was a notable impact on the four English football sides making the finals of major European football competitions.
Kantar said this helped sales of crisps to increase by 2.5%, popcorn by 6.4% and soft drinks by 5.0% in the most recent 12 weeks.
Dunnes Stores, which Kantar last month recognised as Ireland’s leading retailer, saw impressive growth of 7.2% which was underpinned by ‘a substantial increase in spend per buyer’.
According to Kantar, the average Dunnes shopper spent almost €20 more this period compared with the same time last year through a combination of higher prices, bigger trolleys and more frequent trips.
Tesco, whose customers made an additional one trip in recent weeks, experienced a growth of around 3%. The UK-based retailer is not only failing to attract new shoppers, but existing shoppers are spending €0.80 less each time.
Despite this, the retailer has successfully cashed in on Irish shoppers’ appetite for soft drinks, with carbonated beverages and mineral water growing by 17.5% and 11.9% respectively.
The rise of the discounters, Aldi and Lidl, ‘shows no sign of abating’. The retailers registered a growth of 13.3% and 5.8% respectively this period, with Aldi’s growth coming from more indulgent categories such as biscuits and chocolate.
Lidl was boosted by a strong performance in Munster, which accounts for 26.1% of the retailer’s overall sales, but Kantar highlighted that Dublin remains Lidl’s heartland and is responsible for almost a third of its sales.
Growth of 1.9% for SuperValu was the highest rate the retailer has seen since August 2018, and the retailer registered a market share of 21.1% this period.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.