Superquinn at bottom of grocery table as Aldi and Lidl make gains
Tesco leading field but Dunnes still struggling in tussle for Christmas shoppers
SUPERQUINN has been firmly relegated to the bottom of the pile among grocery multiples in Ireland in the run-up to the crucial Christmas shopping period.
New figures show it had a 5.3pc share of the Irish grocery market in the 12 weeks to November 25, placing it behind both Aldi and Lidl, each of which had a 6.2pc share. Aldi boosted its year-on-year share by nearly a third.
Data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that Tesco remains the country's biggest grocery retailer, with its share of the €14bn market having risen 0.2 percentage points to 27.9pc in the period.
The figures also reveal that while Dunnes recovered some ground in the period, it is still struggling to catch up with its larger peer.
The chain – controlled by Margaret Heffernan and Frank Dunne – held a 23.2pc share of the market at the end of the latest reported period, down 3.2 percentage points from the corresponding period last year.
But the share is higher than the 21.4pc it had at the beginning of September.
David Berry, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel, said that Dunnes is now in a "better position" to compete as the crunch Christmas period approaches. He said the retailer's fortunes had "begun to improve this month", but that despite sales growth it is still trailing behind the market.
Both Aldi and Lidl will be hoping to capitalise in the next two weeks on the consumer appetite for more frugal spending, especially after last week's catastrophic budget.
"It's beginning to look a lot like Aldi," claims the German discounter's Christmas promotions on its website.
The two chains could be among the big winners in the Christmas shopping showdown.
Mr Berry said Aldi is "setting the pace", with its sales growth remaining above 30pc for the second successive month.
"Much of this success has been achieved by attracting more shoppers to the store and encouraging them to shop more often and increase the amount they spend," he added.
Market researchers have also been keen to find out what consumers are spending at the discounters. Consumers leaving some Lidl shops this week have been asked by researchers to hand over their receipts after their shop so their purchases can be analysed.
The Kantar figures also show confirm that Superquinn – which is owned by the Cork-based Musgrave group – is currently at the bottom of the multiple rankings in terms of market share.
But Supervalu, the brand also controlled by Musgrave, continues to be the country's third-biggest multiple, with a 19.4pc share of the market, down 0.1pc from the corresponding period last year. It also compares with a 19.6pc share it had at the beginning of September.
Kantar also said that the grocery market grew by 0.4pc in the 12 weeks to November 25 – the highest rate since January. But inflation stood at 4.2pc, making real term growth elusive, it added.