SUPERQUINN has beaten the wider supermarket industry for the first time in five years, as the business slowly begins to recover.
The latest stats from Kantar Worldpanel show that Superquinn increased its sales by 1.9pc during the first three months of this year, compared to the wider grocery market which increased sales by 1.5pc year on year.
Superquinn outperformed Dunnes and Tesco, with only SuperValu improving its sales at a faster rate. SuperValu sales grew 2.1pc, while Dunnes rose 1.4pc. Tesco saw a 1.3pc decrease in its business. Of the discount stores, Aldi beat Lidl, with its sales jumping 30.7pc versus Lidl's 5.8pc growth.
Despite its drop, Tesco remains the dominant player in the Irish market, with more than 27pc market share. Dunnes and SuperValu have more than 40pc of the market between them, and Superquinn has just under 6pc market share.
Kantar Worldpanel's David Berry said the numbers were signs of growth in the grocery market overall.
"Things have started to look up for both Superquinn and the grocery market as a whole. The sales growth posted by the retailer is good news, particularly as it is the first time it has beaten the market since 2007.
"This growth has been driven by people buying more items each time they shop at Superquinn, with fresh and chilled foods proving particularly popular.
"Discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl are continuing to perform well.
"Meanwhile, growth at Dunnes and Tesco has continued to stall. Despite this, Dunnes has managed to maintain growth by increasing the amount its shoppers are buying each time they visit. Tesco has performed behind the market for the third consecutive month and now sees its sales declining by 1.3pc," he added.
The grocery market continues to move on an upwards curve, from growth of 0.3pc in December, 0.6pc in February, to 1.5pc in March.
Kantar say shoppers are buying fewer items compared with last year but are spending on average €18.20 more, a trend driven mainly by inflation.
The improvement for Superquinn comes nearly two years after the group went into receivership before it was bought by SuperValu's owner the Musgrave Group.
Founded in 1960 by Senator Feargal Quinn, Superquinn grew into a 24-branch chain employing 2,800 people. In 2005, the Quinn family sold the company to Select Retail Holdings for an estimated €450m.