Dunnes reclaims top spot in store wars
Dunnes Stores has overtaken SuperValu as the country's busiest supermarket chain ahead of the crucial Christmas period, nosing ahead in a tight race.
Retail sector data provider Kantar Worldpanel said Dunnes Stores had clinched the top grocery retailer after a nine-month hiatus from the pole position, with a 22.4pc share of Ireland's multi-billion euro grocery market during the 12 weeks to November 5.
SuperValu, the chain controlled by Cork-based Musgrave, had a 22pc share in the period, while Tesco had a 21.9pc share.
The Kantar Worldpanel data gauges market share based on the value of goods sold, rather than volume.
Tesco's latest market share represents a 5.1pc year-on-year increase in the value of its sales. SuperValu's were up 0.5pc, and sales at Dunnes Stores were 1.4pc higher.
Lidl had an 11.6pc share of the market at the end of the latest period, with Aldi at 11.5pc.
"Dunnes Stores traditionally posts a strong performance towards the end of the year and 2017 is no exception," said Mr Berry.
"While growth of 1.4pc compared to this time last year is slightly behind the market average, shoppers have spent almost €2 more per trip this period, which has been enough for the retailer to edge ahead of the competition."
Prices across all supermarket chains also fell during the 12 weeks to November 5, dipping 0.2pc according to Kantar Worldpanel.
The latest sector data shows that grocery sales surged last month in the days before Hurricane Ophelia blasted Irish shores.
New figures reveal the extent of the buying frenzy as consumers battened down the hatches in advance of one of the most devastating storms ever to hit the country.
The hurricane - downgraded to a storm as it hit land - saw gusts of up to 156km-per-hour and waves of up to 86 feet high batter the southern part of the country.
Three people were killed as the storm caused havoc, downing power lines and destroying property.
It was shoppers in Munster, the worst affected area, who stocked up in advance of the storm making landfall.
According to Kantar Worldpanel, grocery sales in Munster jumped 12pc before Ophelia roared to shore on October 16.
"The week before Ophelia landed, supermarkets were buoyed by a spike in sales as shoppers battened down the hatches in preparation for the course of the storm," said Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry.