Shoppers turn to German discounters for Christmas
More Irish shoppers turned to German discounters Aldi and Lidl for their groceries in the run-up to last Christmas.
New figures seen by the Irish Independent show that Aldi saw its share of the €14bn Irish grocery market during the crucial 12 weeks to Christmas Day rise to 4.5pc of the market.
The data also shows that in the 12 weeks to Christmas Day, Lidl's market share surpassed that of Superquinn for the first time.That made Lidl the country's fourth biggest grocery retailer during the period.
Superquinn is owned by the Cork-based Musgrave group, which also controls the SuperValu brand. Superquinn's market share in the 12-week period fell 13pc to 5.4pc, while Lidl's rose 1.6pc to 5.6pc.
Lidl had first managed to match Superquinn's share by the middle of last year. In July, Musgrave agreed to buy Superquinn from receivers for about €250m after the business got into severe financial difficulties due to its debt pile and tough trading.
Tesco hung on to its top position. In the 12 weeks to December 25, Tesco's market share here climbed 3.6pc to 28pc. Its performance in the period is in stark contrast to the fortunes of its UK operations over the key festive trading period.
Its closest rival is Dunnes Stores. Its share of the market gained 2.9pc to hold 24pc of the market in the 12 weeks to Christmas. SuperValu's share in the 12 weeks to Christmas Day edged just 1.2pc higher to 19.9pc.
The data represents grocery sales, including food, alcohol and household goods, as well as health and beauty products.
Retailers have been waging aggressive advertising campaigns to capture consumers' reduced spending power.
The figures also show that a range of 'other' outlets -- which includes retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Boots as well as butchers, Spar, independent grocers and shops on the other side of the Border -- saw their market share here fall 8.7pc to 12.6pc in the 12 weeks to Christmas Day.
Marks & Spencer has previously said that its Irish stores have endured difficult trading conditions since the downturn.
However, the Irish arm of Boots posted a 45pc rise in pre-tax profits to €16m in its last financial year on virtually unchanged turnover of €267m.
In the crucial four-week, run- up to Christmas, Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes, Supervalu and Tesco all performed strongly with Superquinn again losing market share.