Lidl pips Aldi as discounters’ forward march continues

Lidl has surged ahead of Aldi in sales growth, with both discounters growing way ahead of the top five supermarkets, according to the latest 12-week grocery retail figures issued by Kantar. 

Lidl grew sales by 18.8% over the same period last year, ending the 12 weeks to 18 June on £1.3bn, 5% of the total grocery market. That was against Aldi’s 18.7% increase, giving it a 6.9% value share (£1.8bn), ahead of Waitrose and The Co-op and behind Morrisons, which currently commands a 10.6% slice of grocery sales. Both discounters have been pursuing aggressive store expansion programmes.

Of the top five supermarkets, Morrisons delivered the strongest sales growth, at 3.7%, although its market share still slid down by 0.2%. The Co-op has achieved consistent sales growth for two full years, up 2.2% like-for-like in the latest timescale alone.

Overall supermarket sales grew by 5% over the duration, the strongest increase since March 2012 and a marked contrast to the comparable timescale last year, when sales fell by 0.2%. The rise in sales was despite increased upward pressure on product prices. Falling cooked poultry prices had helped mitigate price rises on other grocery staples, Kantar reported.

Like-for-like grocery inflation was 3.2% across the period, adding an extra £133 to the average household shopping bill.

Asda’s recent recovery continued, as Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explained: “Asda is the only retailer where branded products are outpacing own-label lines – significant for the grocer given it sells a greater proportion of brands than many of its rivals.

“That isn’t to say Asda’s own-label offer is struggling – its Extra Special premium line and recently launched Farm Stores range contributed to a 1.4% increase in private label sales. Overall sales rose by 2.2%, although its market share fell half a percentage point year-on-year to 15.1%.”

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