Retailers score with Euro 2016 boost to grocery shopping spend
Grocery retailers got a boost from Ireland's valiant efforts in Euro 2016, with sales in the multi-billion euro market rising 3.3pc as a result of the football championship, according to research group Kantar Worldpanel.
And it also said that SuperValu has retained its spot as Ireland's biggest grocery retailing, commanding a 22.5pc share of the market during the 12 weeks ended July 17.
The tussle for second place continues to be hard fought, with Tesco managing to retain its position after SuperValu, with a 21.9pc share.
Dunnes Stores continues to be hot on its rival's heels, with a 21.3pc share.
And the Kantar Worldpanel figures also show that Tesco is the only big multiple that has continued to see the value of its sales in Ireland decline.
It has been focusing on providing increased value to customers in an effort to cement its position after a tumultuous couple of years.
SuperValu notched up a 3.4pc rise in the value of its sales during the latest period, while Dunnes Stores recorded a 6.5pc rise. The value of sales at Tesco slipped 1.9pc.
Kantar Worldpanel - which surveys 5,000 households for its data - said that grocery inflation in Ireland stood at 2.6pc in the 12 weeks ended July 17.
"Ireland's involvement in Euro 2016 certainly looks to have had a positive impact for the major supermarkets," said Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry.
"Alcohol sales over the past 12 weeks are 11pc higher than the same time last year, as consumers stocked up more often and bought more each time they shopped," he said.
"Soft drinks, confectionery, crisps and snacks all also saw positive sales growth as football fans made the most of the opportunity to treat themselves," Mr Berry added.The latest figures also show that Lidl has an 11.9pc share of the Irish market, while Aldi has 11.2pc. The value of sales at Lidl rose 4.5pc in the latest period, compared to a 3.7pc rise at Aldi.
Kantar Worldpanel said that an additional 38,000 households visited Aldi outlets here during the latest period, a turnaround from March when it was losing shoppers.
But Mr Berry said the strongest growth during the latest period came from smaller retailers. They increased their sales by a combined 6.8pc.
"This has been boosted in particular by bargain stores such as Dealz, a strong period for Iceland and an increase in cross-border shopping," he said.
"Iceland and bargain stores have both felt the benefit of expanding their store estates, while the drop in the value of sterling has made cross-border shopping more appealing.
"While all three of these phenomena remain small, they have contributed to an impressive combined €14m sales increase."
Retailers, as well as Kantar Worldpanel, have already warned that weakening sterling could precipitate a return to the cross-border shopping phenomenon that was witnessed during 2009 when sterling neared parity with the euro.
Floods of shoppers from the Republic crossed the border then to snap up bargains.
Following June's Brexit vote, sterling slumped and has continued to decline.
One pound is now worth just about €1.19.
Kantar Worldpanel reckoned during that peak of cross-border shopping, 4.1pc of grocery sales to shoppers here were accounted for by retailers in Northern Ireland.
The figure currently stands at about 0.3pc.