Dunnes closes in on SuperValu as it beats Tesco to second place
Dunnes Stores has become the country's second-largest grocery retailer, pushing Tesco into third place in the multi-billion euro market, new figures show.
Dunnes, headed by siblings Margaret Heffernan and Frank Dunne, now has a 22pc share of the grocery market here, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.
SuperValu, the chain controlled by Cork-based Musgrave, has held onto its top spot, with a 22.4pc share.
But it means Dunnes Stores has now significantly narrowed the gap with the leader.
Tesco's 21.6pc share of the market puts it in third place. A year ago it ranked number one in the sector.
The British multiple has been lowering prices in an effort to lure more shoppers, as it battles rivals in a competitive sector.
Kantar Worldpanel said that while the value of Tesco's sales here slipped 1.3pc in the 12 weeks to October 9, its volumes in the period were higher.
In interim results published earlier this month, Tesco said that it recorded like-for-like sales growth of 0.3pc in the first quarter in Ireland, and 0.1pc in the second quarter. A Tesco spokesperson said the average selling price per item at the chain's outlets here is now 3.7pc lower than this time last year, which impacts its share of the overall spend in the market.
In volume terms, the retailer said Tesco remains the leader here, with a 21.3pc share.
Dunnes Stores has been investing heavily in its 'Shop and Save' couponing initiative to buy shopper loyalty. That has cost it tens of millions of euro.
It has also been revamping its offer, moving upmarket with new lines of products.
Earlier this year, it bought Tipperary butcher Whelans, and it also acquired the small coffee chain, Cafe Sol, last year.
"Since its introduction, Dunnes' 'Shop and Save' initiative has gone from strength to strength," said Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry.
"The campaign has been very successful in persuading shoppers to spend more, and we've seen a whopping 18pc increase in shopping trips where consumers spend over €100 since last year."
He added that the average spend per shopping trip to Dunnes has risen by €3 over the past year, to €38.10. The retailer with the next biggest average trip spend is Aldi, at €25.10.
Last year, Dunnes Stores opened the first of its new concept stores, at the Swan Centre in Rathmines, Dublin.
It embarked on a similar revamp of its flagship Corneslcourt store in the city during the summer.
Lidl's market share in the period stood at 11.6pc, which was 5.1pc higher than in the corresponding period last year.
Aldi, which saw its sales rise 6.6pc year-on-year, had an 11.4pc share in the period.
Mr Berry said branded items accounted for 10pc of sales at Lidl during the 12 weeks to October 9 - a significant figure given the German retailer's traditional focus on own-label products.
The increase in the value of sales at all grocery retailers in Ireland - except Tesco - rose at a pace above the rate of grocery market inflation, which stood at 1.3pc in the period, according to Kantar Worldpanel.