Irish market continues strong growth

Lucy Ingram
Retail Analyst

Date : 30 June 2020

In the 12 weeks to 14th June 2020 take-home grocery sales in the Republic of Ireland grew 24.7%, according to Kantar. We explore the growth in more detail and look at key retailers' performance.

Convenience and online drive growth

The 12 weeks up to 14th June encompass the entire lockdown period. The additional spend equates to €628.7m (£573.7m).

Similarly to the UK, shopping patterns in Ireland remain severely disrupted, with convenience and online driving growth. Shoppers in Ireland are continuing to make fewer, larger trips, despite the lockdown easing. With social distancing measures still in place, shoppers are looking for ways to make buying groceries as efficient as possible.

Online demand continues

An extra €70.9m (£64.7m) was spent online in this period, a year-on-year increase of 114.3%. We expect retailers to continue increasing their capacity for online ordering, or trialling new services to keep up with shoppers' expectations.

Aldi for example, has began trialling Deliveroo in Ireland due to the increase in demand it has seen from shoppers wanting to purchase online. Operating online is not a natural fit for Aldi, given the cost and complexity it takes to offer this service. The impact of COVID-19 has however accelerated the normalisation of online shopping even further, and therefore it is important for the discounter to engage in this channel. The retailer will be trialling the service in two stores initially. It is also trialling the service in nine stores in the UK. If this proves successful it will look to roll-out the partnership with Deliveroo to more of its estate. 

Shoppers seek out convenience

40% of shoppers are now buying closer to home, seeking out the ease and convenience of shopping locally. Independent outlets have seen sales grow 44.8% during this 12 week period.

Musgrave, Ireland's leading convenience retailer, continues to invest in the convenience channel. It opened two new stores in July, equating to an investment of  €3.3m (£3.0m). Both stores are in Centra's new look design, with wider aisles and lower shelf heights designed to improve the shopping experience.

SuperValu continues to be the strongest performer

SuperValu continues to see very positive performance with market share reaching 22.9% and seeing the fastest year-on-year growth of 35.2%. All 223 SuperValu independently owned stores have remained open throughout the lockdown period. 

It remains the only retailer to have not experienced reduced footfall in this period, showing its low price proposition continues to resonate with shoppers. According to Kantar, 47% of Irish consumers said that COVID-19 has already impacted household income, compared to 30% in the UK. We expect to see shoppers reverting to savvy shopping behaviours in the future as household finances come under pressure.

Detailed results

Total take home grocery consumer spend 12 weeks to 16th June 2019 12 weeks to 14th June 2020 % Change in value sales
Total outlets 100% 100% 24.7%
Total multiples 89.2% 89.0% 24.3%
Dunnes 22.1% 20.5% 15.4%
Tesco 22.0% 21.5% 22.2%
SuperValu 21.2% 22.9% 35.2%
Aldi 12.3% 11.9% 20.4%
Lidl 11.7% 12.2% 29.7%
Other outlets 10.8% 11.0% 27.7%

Source: Kantar

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