Tuesday 17 July 2018

Tesco and SuperValu neck-and-neck in top grocery chain battle as Christmas approaches

Dunnes Stores hot on their heels as the busy Christmas buying frenzy approaches Photo: Bloomberg
Dunnes Stores hot on their heels as the busy Christmas buying frenzy approaches Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Tesco and SuperValu are now neck-and-neck in the battle to be Ireland’s top grocery chain, with Dunnes Stores hot on their heels as the busy Christmas buying frenzy approaches.

New figures from research group Kantar Worldpanel show that Tesco has continued to claw back market share, and now commands a 22pc share of the multi-billion euro grocery market. SuperValu, controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group, also now has a 22pc share.

The Kantar Worldpanel data shows that SuperValu’s share during the 12 weeks to October 8, compared to the 22.4pc it had in the corresponding period last year. Tesco’s share climbed from 21.6pc to 22pc in the same period.

Dunnes Stores saw its market share dip from 22pc to 21.9pc.

The data represents the share of the value of goods sold, rather than the volume.

Lidl and Aldi both posted small gains. Lidl’s share increased from 11.6pc to 11.7pc. Aldi’s edged to 11.6pc from 11.5pc.

David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said that both SuperValu and Tesco have benefited from consumers spending more each time they shop.

“Though SuperValu has seen consumers spend an additional 40 cents per basket on average, Tesco has encouraged its shoppers to add an extra €1 to every shop,” he said.

He added: “With Dunnes Stores only 0.1 percentage points behind SuperValu and Tesco, the top three Irish supermarkets are all fighting for the top spot. 

“With the festive period just around the corner – the time of year when sales spike and shoppers aren’t afraid to spend that little bit extra – the competition shows no signs of abating.”

Mr Berry added that shoppers are also spending more on branded goods.

“This time last year sales of branded items dropped by 0.5pc compared to the year before,” he said. “However we’re now seeing a return to form – with sales up 1.3pc.”

“At Christmas, shoppers tend to flock back to brands – partly for sentimental reasons and also as people are tempted to trade up at this time of year,” added Mr Berry.

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