Aldi and Lidl gaining ground with over 17pc of Irish grocery market
German retailers Aldi and Lidl have continued to snap at the heels of Dunnes Stores, with the pair now commanding a combined 17.1pc share of Ireland's multi-billion euro grocery market.
And for the first time, Aldi has breached an 8pc share of the market here, underscoring how successful the German rivals have been at snatching business from more established competitors.
The latest supermarket data from research group Kantar Worldpanel shows that Aldi's share of the market in Ireland rose 22pc to 8pc in the 12 weeks to April 27 – a period that included the crucial Easter trading period.
Lidl's share of the grocery market jumped 12.2pc to 7.6pc.
Tesco retained its top ranking, but remains under pressure. Its market share fell 4.1pc to 26.3pc in the latest period, while Dunnes Stores also saw its position further weakened. Its share slipped 1.3pc to 21.6pc.
SuperValu – the chain controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group – continues to snap at Tesco's heels. Its share of the market, which includes its now rebranded Superquinn chain, rose 0.5pc to 25.1pc, confirming its second place in the supermarket wars.
"During the recession shoppers turned to 'little and often' shopping to control their spending, but this trend is now showing signs of reversing," said Kantar Worldpanel commercial director David Berry.
Industry insiders said the latest figures will be another wake-up call for both Tesco and Dunnes Stores in particular.
Tesco admitted last month that there has been a "significant impact" on its profits in Ireland in recent years.
"The country might be out of recession, consumers are not," said Tesco group chief executive Philip Clarke.
But industry experts also argue that Tesco, with its advan- ced infrastructure, is better placed to re-group and carry on an offensive against Aldi and Lidl.
They point out that Dunnes Stores, although still a formidable retailing force, has failed to invest in its systems in the same way, and that its ordering processes and distribution model leave it facing a major catch-up game if it wants to stem its market share decline in the longer term.
Kantar Worldpanel also points out that while Tesco's share fell again, its performance may be stabilising. The latest decline in its market share was at the lowest level since last July.
Shoppers at Dunnes may be spending more, but the problem for the retailer is that it's attracting fewer of them.
The fresh data also shows that grocery inflation stood at 2.5pc in the latest period, having shot up from 1.9pc in the previous period.