DUNNES Stores and Superquinn are the two biggest victims of consumer thrift, with new figures showing their shares of the Irish grocery market fell significantly in the 12 weeks to July 8.
Data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that Dunnes Stores' market share fell 4.9pc to 22.2pc in the period, while Super- quinn's share plunged 10.1pc to 5.5pc. Cork-based retail group Musgrave acquired Superquinn about a year ago and has been trying to turn around the operation since then. Musgrave's Supervalu chain had a 19.5pc share, according to Kantar.
The new retail figures are likely to be particularly worrying for Dunnes Stores, which has lost significant ground on the market leader, Tesco. The British multiple had a 28.7pc share of Ireland's take-home grocery market. That was up 1.7pc on the corresponding period last year. Kantar estimates Ireland's grocery market to be worth almost €8.9bn a year.
However, it said the overall size of the Irish grocery market fell 1.3pc in the latest quarter. That removed about €27m from retailers' tills.
"The economic situation has been tough in Ireland throughout 2012 and consequently consumers have been looking to control their spend at the weekly shop," said Mark Thompson, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel.
He added that own-brand product sales climbed 1.9pc in the latest period as consumers continued to make their money go further.
The Kantar figures show that Aldi's share of the Irish grocery market rose 22.5pc to 5.5pc in the latest quarter -- giving it the same share as Superquinn -- while Lidl's climbed 3.4pc to 6.7pc. "Aldi and Lidl now have a combined market share of 12.2pc and are the big winners from austerity shopping," said Mr Thompson.
Kantar also noted that despite the continued squeeze on consumers and the overall grocery market, shopper spend on alcohol was up 3.6pc in the latest period, with discounters recording the biggest increase in sales.