Austerity brings more custom to discount supermarkets

Large increases in custom for Aldi, Lidl and Iceland as shoppers watch their wallets

Discount supermarkets Aldi, Lidl and Iceland have all seen a large increase in customers as economic growth stagnates and more shoppers watch their wallets, according to latest figures.

German business Aldi was most impressive in the 12 weeks to January 20, increasing its market share 28%, controlling 3.1% of the sector compared with 2.5% a year earlier.

Growth was helped by more than 30 store openings last year, bringing the total to 472, with 40 planned in 2013.

Lidl increased its share by 10% and Iceland was up 9.6%, according to figures compiled by Kantar Worldpanel. Edward Garner, director of the consumer researcher, said: “Against a background of austerity it comes as no surprise that a ‘value’ positioning appeals to shoppers – as it did in the 2008/9 recession.

“Additionally both Aldi and Lidl have tried to broaden their appeal beyond simply being ‘cheap’. Christmas 2012 saw Aldi selling fresh goose and wines above £20 and Lidl selling lobster and award winning champagne.”

Market leader Tesco maintained its lead, controlling 30% of the groceries sector.

The news will be a welcome relief for bosses after a disastrous 12 months which included pulling out of the US, discovering horse DNA in beef burgers, and issuing a profit warning for the first time in more than 20 years.

Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, explained: “These positive results are a sign of stabilisation for Tesco as the retailer gets back on track with its customers.

“However, this improvement has put some pressure on the rest of the big four with Morrisons in particular suffering a drop in sales and a share decline of 0.6 percentage points in the latest period.”

Premium grocer Waitrose showed strong year-on-year growth of 8% after the company reported record Christmas results. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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