Tesco retains lead in grocery war as Lidl lures shoppers
Tesco has returned to growth in the Irish market for the first time since 2013, boosted by back-to-school shoppers.
The latest supermarket data from research group Kantar Worldpanel shows that Tesco has managed to keep its number one position as Ireland's biggest grocery retailer, fending off a continuing challenge from SuperValu.
The latest Kantar data shows that Tesco had a 24.8pc share of Ireland's multi-billion euro grocery market in the 12 weeks to September 13.
But while the value of Tesco's sales in the period rose 0.3pc, its share of the grocery market actually dipped 0.4 percentage points year-on-year.
The value of SuperValu's sales rose 0.2pc, while its share of the overall grocery market fell 0.4 percentage points to 24.3pc.
Dunnes saw the value of its sales rise 5.2pc, while its market share rose 0.7 percentage points to 22.7pc.
"After an unprecedented period of decline, Tesco has posted growth of 0.3pc," according to Georgieann Harrington, insight director at Kantar Worldpanel. "This is the first time sales have increased for the retailer since early 2013. Making the most of the back-to-school season, the grocer has seen its spend from families with children - a heartland for the retailer - increase by 4pc.
A modest increase in shopper numbers overall has certainly played a part in Tesco's recovery, and its customers are also buying more products per shop in the latest period, helping to boost the retailer's performance."
Kantar also said that grocery inflation in the 12 weeks to September 13 stood at 1.8pc, compared to 1.3pc in the previous period.
That means that in real terms, the value of sales sold at Supervalu and Tesco actually fell during the latest period.
Aldi and Lidl both posted strong gains. Lidl's share of the market rose 0.6 percentage points to 9pc, while Aldi's rose 0.2 percentage points to 8.7pc.
Ms Harrington said that shoppers are now spending nearly €50 more on average each during their visits to Dunnes Stores. That's thanks to its 'Shop and Save' campaign, which has cost the retailer tens of millions of euros. But while its volume sales rose 5pc in the latest period, Dunnes has actually experienced a drop in shopper numbers, with about 70,000 fewer visiting its stores during the 12-week period.
Lidl, on the other hand, attracted about 40,000 more shoppers. Promotional campaigns there have helped the retailer boost the average spend per customer by 5pc to €22.84.
Like Dunnes, Aldi has seen the number of customers entering its stores fall during the latest period, according to Kantar, but its sales continued to grow. The retailer has also seen the average shopper spend increase by 6pc to €17.