Latest News
News Feature image

We are frequently seeing discounters Aldi and Lidl evolve their store concepts to meet the changing needs of shoppers. This week we have seen Aldi UK trial its first self-service checkouts and Lidl Ireland pioneer in-store recycling.

More News

Growth slowed to 1.4% in the 12 weeks to 24th March, according to Kantar. This makes it the slowest growth rate since March 2018. Inflation edged up from 1.4% to 1.5% causing implied volumes to dip into negative territory. We look at the results in more detail.

Seasonal changes impact growth

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit challenges have mainly come for retailers from changes to the timing of seasonal events. Retailers have been impacted by Easter being much later in 2019, falling on the 19th April, compared to the 1st April in 2018. Mothers Day also fell outside this period on 31st March, compared to 11th March in 2018. This impacts the Big Four in particular, who rely more heavily on these events to boost to trading.

Asda becomes the second largest retailer

Asda has overtaken Sainsbury's and become the retailer with the second largest market share, at 15.4%, compared to Sainsbury's at 15.3%. Asda sales continue to grow, albeit at a marginal rate of 0.1%. However this is positive, especially when compared to Sainsbury's whose sales were down -1.8% year-on-year.

However, these results do not show the full picture. Sainsbury's is still ahead of Asda in terms of total sales. The sales measured by Kantar only cover food and grocery, but not Argos and Habitat.

Helping to drive Asda's recovery is the retailer's success in reaching more quality seeking shoppers, with investments in fresh produce and its own brand offer broadening its appeal to more affluent demographics. To see how Asda is transforming the in-store experience, check back soon on our Asda hub to see our store visit report to newly remodelled Asda Patchway.

Divergent promotional trends at Waitrose and Tesco

Waitrose saw its strongest growth since August 2018, at 1.3%. This was driven by the retailer reducing its promotional activity and focusing more on full price sales.

Waitrose's scaling back of promotions contrasts with Tesco whose deal penetration reached 40.1% in Kantar's data.  Overall however promotions in the grocery market are at the lowest they have been in a decade.

Tesco full year results will be reported on our Tesco hub on April 10th.

Fastest growth from discounters

The discounters seem to be unaffected by the seasonal date changes and growth remains strong. Particularly for Aldi which was the fastest growing retailer at 10.6%, reaching a record market share of 8%.

This period saw Aldi launch a new banner, Aldi 'Local'. The retailer has said this is not a move into the convenience sector. As expansion in city centres and particularly London, is often difficult for discounters, innovation in small formats gives them more opportunity to grow presence in these areas and target shoppers on different missions.

Lidl also continues to grow, as the second fastest retailer, at 5.8%. This was a 0.4pp increase on the 12 weeks up to February 24th.

This means the two discounters’ overall market share is now 13.6%.

Co-op and Ocado launch new online services

Growth at Co-op, at 3.9% and Ocado at 5.5% remains strong, despite disruption caused by the recent fire at its Andover CFC. We have recently seen both retailers look to move into online 'top-up' shopping.

Co-op has launched its first online delivery service. It is initially available to shoppers within a 2.5 mile radius of a Co-op store on the Kings Road in Chelsea, with plans to be rolled out to a further eight stores in London, and if successful, the rest of the UK.

Ocado has launched a new one hour delivery service called Ocado Zoom which is available in selected postcodes in West London.

Other retailers

  • Morrisons growth has stagnated, with sales down -0.1%. This is the first time it has had negative results since December 2016. The retailer has been attracting more shoppers however, has seen a decline in basket size and Kantar's numbers do not include Morrisons fast growing sales through wholesale partners, including McColl's and Amazon. Read our new strategic outlook for Morrisons to find out more about its recent annual results plans for 2019.
  • Iceland saw sales growth of 0.6%, maintaining its market share of 2.1%.


12 weeks to
25th March 2018

12 weeks to
24th March 2019

Sales growth

Tesco 27.6 27.4 0.5%
Sainsbury's 15.8 15.3 -1.8%
Asda 15.6 15.4 0.1%
Morrisons 10.4 10.3 -0.1%
Aldi 7.3 8.0 10.6%
Co-op 6.0 6.1 3.9%
Lidl 5.3 5.6 5.8%
Waitrose 5.0 5.0 1.3%
Iceland 2.1 2.1 0.6%
Ocado 1.2 1.3 5.5%
Other Multiples 1.8 1.8 2.7%
Symbols & Independents 1.7 1.7 0.6%




IGD Tesco Business Update 2019

8 May, London

Dave Lewis and his leadership team invite you to a crucial supplier event to help you stay close to Tesco’s strategic vision in its centenary year.

Find out more »

We look at the latest news from discount retailer Aldi about future expansion in Ireland and Scotland. We also look at its latest initiatives forming part of its aim to reduce plastic usage.

Expansion in Ireland and Scotland

Aldi has announced plans to open 50 more stores in Ireland in the coming years. The new stores will all be in Southern Ireland. An exact time frame for these openings has not yet been announced. In 2018 the discount retailer opened seven new stores, and refitted four.

The retailer's market share is continuing to grow in Ireland. It was 11.2% in the 12 weeks ending 24 February 2019, growing from 10.9% in the 12 weeks ending 27 January 2019, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The discounters were the best performing retailers over the Christmas period. We explore this further in our discounter update: Ireland article.

Aldi has also said it will be opening five stores in Scotland by the end of 2019.

Plastic-free in Scotland

Aldi is currently trialling going plastic-free on five fruit and vegetable lines in Scotland. The trial will last for six weeks. The retailer estimates it will save half a ton of plastic in this short period of time. It is part of Aldi's aim to be using recyclable, reusable or compostable packing across all its private label products by 2022.

If the trial is successful it will most likely be rolled out across the UK.


Aldi will be removing plastic glitter from 100% of its private label products by 2021. This will start with its 2019 Halloween range and will cover all products such as greetings cards, wrapping paper, decorations and art and craft supplies.

Retailers are continuing to reduce their plastic usage. Waitrose also committed to being plastic glitter free by Christmas 2020. Read more about how other retailers such as Iceland, M&S, Morrison's and more are taking action on plastics.

New banner Aldi 'Local'

Aldi has launched a new banner called Aldi Local in Balham, London. The store is around half the size of a normal Aldi, and carries a reduced range. It was been designed to offer a more convenient shopping experience in the city environment. Read more about this and discounter format evolution here.

Sign-up here to receive our free discount newsletter that will keep you up-to-date about the latest news and developments from Aldi.

Aldi has launched a new banner; Aldi 'Local' in Balham London. We look at how the 'Local' banner differs from its standard stores and how discounters are evolving their store formats.

Offering a more convenient option in the city environment

The  store is around 600 sq m, half the size of a typical Aldi and has a reduced range. There are around 1,500 SKUs, compared to the 1,800 in a standard store. In order to tailor the 'Local' branch to its city location, Special Buys and larger pack sizes have been removed from the range. Aldi told The Grocer this is to make the store easier to shop without a car. Maintaining breadth of range and space for fresh is essential as our ShopperVista data has revealed produce is the most shopped category in Aldi.

The new banner shows Aldi's continued exploration of small store formats. Aldi Archway is currently the retailers smallest store, being slightly smaller than Balham. Archway will potentially now become a 'Local' store. As may Tooting, Kingston and Kilburn, its other city branches. Performance will be assessed before any decisions on whether to covert the stores to the 'Local' banner are made. 

Aldi has emphasised this is not a move to expand into convenience. However, expansion in city centres, and particularly London is often challenging for discounters with a lack of the larger sites with car parks they typically target. Continued innovation in small formats gives the retailer more opportunity to grow its presence in these areas and target new shoppers on different missions.

There is a sizeable opportunity for growth in London however the competition for the best sites is intense. Our ShopperVista data shows 53% of London shoppers would use an Aldi or Lidl more if there was a store closer to them. Subscribers can read more about this in our UK discounters: factors influencing growth report.

Discounter format evolution

We are increasingly seeing discounters trialling new store designs across Europe. Aldi, Lidl, Norma and Eurospin have all looked to evolve with different concepts to target new shoppers and expand their reach;

  • Lidl opened its smallest store in Germany in February. At 503 sq m it is less than half of the traditional size of a Lidl store and offers 80% of the standard range. This is part of the retailers strategy to secure space near city centres. Plans are to open four more of these in 2019 in Munich
  • German discounter Norma is building larger stores and increasing its range. It will be adding around 160 SKUs to its existing range, mainly in chilled and fresh. The retailer is looking to emulate Aldi and Lidl's newest store formats
  • Italian Eurospin is also trialling a larger format. There will be greater space dedicated to fresh, including a butchery and bakery

For subscribers looking for more insight, look at our latest Aldi store visit presentation.

Sign-up here to receive our free discount newsletter that will keep you up-to-date about the latest news and developments from the channel.


Our selection of key insights from across Retail Analysis and ShopperVista from the last three months. This report includes the latest macroeconomic and shopper sentiment data, retailer results and market shares. We also highlight the latest channel and market trends, and new store formats.
Find out about the key trends in grocery retail in Belgium, the growth strategies of the leading retailers and the short-term developments that will drive the market.
This guide to Germany includes a summary of the country’s economic outlook, an overview of the grocery retail market, insight on the country’s leading retailers and the short-term developments that will drive the market.
Kantar market shares are generated using Kantar Worldpanel’s till-roll scanning methodology and extrapolated using a sample of 30,000 households. Figures are calculated over a rolling 12 week period and include VAT.
View all presentations

Key presentations

We have visited the latest stores from Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd in Germany, both demonstrating interesting developments for the retailer.

This in-depth guide to Germany explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

An essential summary of trading priorities, latest developments, and other key commercial insights for Aldi.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

Get the latest industry news and insights straight to your inbox with our range of newsletters.

We've grouped all the latest European retail news, store visits, retailer profiles and downloadable presentations together in one place.