Irish supermarkets hit by economy

More than 300,000 Irish people have left their homeland in the last four years to seek work, the UK press reported yesterday.

Such an exodus is the result of few jobs in the country, which is having a knock-on effect in the supermarket sector as “cash-strapped shoppers continue to flock to discount stores”, Kantar Worldpanel data indicates.

According to Kantar, figures for the 12 weeks ending 12 May show the market to be increasingly tough for the traditional multiples, while the discounters are seeing increases in sales. Both Aldi and Lidl combined have a market share of 13.6%, up 2% on last year. Recently Aldi has added 100,000 shoppers and Lidl 62,000 in the last six months.

Commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel David Berry said: “In the face of continued price inflation and the onset of the Local Property Tax, shoppers continue to rein in their spending and look for the best value. Shopping across a range of different retailers is a big trend among consumers, who are making smaller, more frequent trips.”

However, consumers’ prerogative to save money has left Tesco and Dunnes seeing a decline in sales, with Tesco’s market share falling from 28.4% to 27.6% and Dunnes from 22.4% to 22.2%.

Meanwhile, online grocery sales have seen a boost in the last 12 months, shooting up by 7.9% compared to an in-store growth 0.2%. “Shoppers are spending an average of €62 (£53) per trip on the internet compared with €22 (£18.90) in-store, online presents a key opportunity for the traditional retailers,” Berry added.

Grocery inflation has also seen a decline for the 12-week period ending 12 May, down from 5.3% to 5%.

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