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According to Retail Gazette, Aldi has opened eight new stores on the same day as it ramps up its store opening programme before the year end.

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Co-op is the last of the major UK retailers to launch its Christmas ad.

John Lewis & Partners

John Lewis & Partners has released its much-awaited Christmas campaign ‘The Boy and the Piano’, starring Elton John. The two-minute advertisement tells the story of how one special gift can inspire and influence the course of someone’s life. Set to the iconic ‘Your Song’, the story works backwards through Elton John’s life and shows the moment he received the special gift of his grandmother’s piano.

Craig Inglis, Partner and Customer Director, said “The ad tells the story of why Elton's piano was more than just a gift and we hope to remind customers of that special moment when they've given a gift at Christmas time that they know will be treasured forever”.

As part of the Christmas campaign, customers shopping on Oxford Street, London are invited to step into the set of the ad and experience it for themselves by interacting with props, listening to recordings from Elton John’s 17-11-70 album and having photos taken at the piano.

John Lewis 2018 Christmas advert (140 seconds) by adam&eveDDB on YouTube


Sainsbury’s 2018 Christmas campaign launched with a two minute advertisement titled ‘The Big Night’. The advert is directed by Michael Gracey, who also directed The Greatest Showman.

With the theme of a school Christmas show, the advert follows a young girl dressed as a star wowing the audience after a nervous start, singing New Radicals’ ‘You Get What You Give’. The advert also features almost 60 children from across the country, as a host of Christmas characters, some as young as six years old.

The notion that ‘we give all we’ve got for the ones we love’ is at the heart of the retailer’s new Christmas campaign.

Sainsbury’s 2018 Christmas advert (120 seconds) by Wieden+Kennedy London on YouTube


The launch of Iceland’s Christmas advert echoes the retailer’s commitment to sustainability initiatives.

Iceland has used a short film, titled ‘Rang-tan’, which was originally made by the environmental organisation Greenpeace, as its main Christmas campaign. The advert portrays an emotive animation, with the aim of raising awareness of rainforest destruction caused by palm oil production, and the impact this has on the critically endangered orangutan.

This year, Iceland’s advert will not appear on TV as it failed to secure advertising regulatory approval, and has been launched on YouTube instead. The advert has received over four million views on YouTube, and 15 million views on Iceland’s Facebook page, since its launch six days ago.

Earlier this year, the retailer committed to remove palm oil from its own label food by the end of 2018, and will promote the extensive range of palm oil-free products over the festive season.

Richard Walker, Managing Director, said “Throughout 2018 we have led the retail industry to take action in areas such as rainforest destruction for palm oil and plastic pollution of our oceans. This year we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert. The culmination of our palm oil project is offering our customers the choice of an orangutan friendly Christmas, and we wanted to reflect this in our advertising”.

Iceland 20198 Christmas advert (92 seconds) by Mother on YouTube

Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose & Partners has unveiled six 30-seconds Christmas adverts, which celebrate the role of food at Christmas.

Part of the ‘Too Good to Wait’ campaign, each advert delivers a light-hearted take on a number of festive scenarios, in which families and friends hurry through to get to enjoy their festive food. In the first advert, titled ‘Christmas Concert’, a pianist rushes through a speedy rendition of Jingle Bells after hearing that Heston from Waitrose Chocolate and Sour Cherry Crumble Mince Pies would be served afterwards.

During its first airing, viewers saw other television adverts fast forwarded until it came to the Waitrose & Partners advert, to tie in with the idea of ‘Too Good to Wait’.

Martin George, Customer Director, said "Looking forward to the traditions and special moments is what makes Christmas the most wonderful time of year, but there’s also another aspect that adults and children alike just can’t wait for…the food. As much as we all love our festive activities, enjoying delicious food and drink is a priority, and when it’s Waitrose & Partners food, you’ll do whatever it takes to get to it as quickly as possible”.

Waitrose 2018 Christmas advert (30 seconds) by adam&eveDDB on YouTube

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer Food launched its 2018 campaign, ‘Discover your M&S Christmas favourite’. The advert series sees more than 60 customers and colleagues discuss a range of their favourite M&S Christmas foods, with a focus on quality and taste.

The campaign comprises of 12 different unscripted adverts – three 60-second plus nine 30-second ones that focus on specific products. All of these are timed to coincide with food shopping patterns, with the last advert focusing on Christmas Day food and fresh produce.

Marks and Spencer’s Food Marketing Director, Sharry Cramond, commented “As our customers and colleagues love our food so much, we thought we would let them tell the story in their own words.  We spoke to customers and colleagues up and down the country about their favourites from our festive range, and then we simply made that the ads”.

Viewers are encouraged to join the conversation on social media by sharing their Christmas food favourites using the hashtag #MyMarksFave. A festive Percy Pig emoji will appear each time someone uses the hashtag.

M&S 2018 Christmas advert (60 seconds) by Grey London on YouTube 


Boots has released its Christmas advert for the festive season about the bond between a mother and her daughter. The advert focuses on the mother-daughter relationship, set to the soundtrack of Robbie Williams’ ‘She’s the One’ – adapted in the advert to ‘She’s Me Mum’.

The advert celebrates the unique bond between mothers and daughters, with the tagline ‘Get them something that says you get them’.

Helen Normoyle, Marketing Director explained: “Christmas and the festive period is a perfect time to bring together friends and family. We wanted to really celebrate this special connection by focusing in on the spirit of beauty gifts showing you really understand your loved ones”.

Boots 2018 Christmas advert by Ogilvy on YouTube


Asda again became the first of the UK retailers to launch its Christmas advert, 'Bring Christmas Home'. The advert focuses on the chaos and effort that goes into bringing people together at Christmas.

The 60 second clip follows Santa and his team as they descend down a snowy mountain to make it home to celebrate Christmas with an excited young girl.

The advert also showcases a selection of products from its seasonal range. These include Asda's Extra Special Macarons, Turkey, and a selection of its George Christmas jumpers and nightwear. The retailer is also set to launch three additional 30 second clips throughout the Christmas period, showcasing more of its festive range.

Following an audition process, the advert also features some of Asda's Colleagues. Asda's Chief Customer Officer Andy Murray comments on this decision, "Our colleagues play such a vital role in bringing Christmas home for our customers, it was only right that they were part of our festive cavalcade – and Sara and Daniel have done us proud."

Asda 2018 Christmas advert (60 seconds) by AMV BBDO on YouTube


In Aldi's 40 second Christmas advertisement viewers see the return of Kevin the Carrot. Kevin is travelling through a snowy setting in an orange truck before an avalanche hits the vehicle, leaving Kevin hanging off a cliff and the hashtag #SaveKevin appears on screen.

The cliffhanger ending suggests that Aldi, in a similar move to last year, is set to unveil a series of adverts following Kevin's story. The full advert is set to be released later this week.

Aldi commented on Twitter, "Our parody Christmas advertising campaigns are famous for capturing the anticipation of the season. This year is no exception using our trademark sense of humour and well-loved character, #KevinTheCarrot, to capture the magic of families prepping for Christmas."

Aldi 2018 Christmas advert (40 seconds) by McCann UK on Youtube


Lidl launched its 'Make Christmas a Lidl Special' campaign with a series of three 20 second Christmas adverts.

The adverts reveal how a shopper can upgrade their Christmas by shopping with Lidl. With a focus on driving trade up, the most recent advert showcases its premium private label Christmas turkey, designed to emphasis its quality credentials.

The series of adverts also offer a playful twist, following regrettable decisions made my shoppers at Christmas. One lady looks frustrated as a pre-ordered 16-piece orchestra dominates her dining room on Christmas day.

The retailer has extended its 'Make Christmas a Lidl Special' campaign, offering online shoppers the chance to upgrade their Christmas meal, Christmas party or festive fun on its Christmas landing page.

Lidl 2018 Christmas advert (20 seconds) by TWBA London on YouTube


Amazon unveiled its 90 second Christmas advert which features Amazon boxes singing to The Jackson's 'Can you Feel It'.

The opening scene includes a girl decorating a gingerbread house, who then sees an Amazon box come to life. The boxes then go onto surprise and delight passers by including delivery drivers, dogs, office workers and children.

The advert places the joy of Christmas at the heart of the campaign, whilst also encouraging shoppers to shop online this Christmas.

Amazon 2018 Christmas advert (60 seconds) by Lucky Generals and Director Fredrik Bond on YouTube


Tesco launched its 2018 Christmas campaign, 'However you do Christmas, everyone's welcome at Tesco', with the first in a series of TV adverts.

The campaign builds on last year's offer, focusing on diversity and celebrating the different rituals and routines that people associate with Christmas.

Allessandra Bellini, Tesco Chief Customer Officer, commented on the campaign, "We want our customer to know that however they do Christmas, and no matter what they need, Tesco can help".

Tesco 2018 Christmas advert (60 seconds) by BBH London on YouTube


Morrisons unveiled its 2018 Christmas advertisement which focuses on key moments of the seasonal period, providing a festive family feel.

The advertisement upholds a food focus, showcasing festive products from its Market Street concept and highlighting its quality credentials in fresh.

Morrisons Christmas advert on YouTube by Publicis London  


Co-op is the last of the major UK retailers to launch its Christmas campaign, ‘Christmas is better together’. The advertisement launched on December 1st.

In a similar move to last year, the advertisement focuses on bringing communities together at Christmas.

It sees a group of friends discussing when Christmas really starts for them, whilst showcasing products from Coops private label festive food collection.

Co-op 2018 Christmas advert (30seconds) by Forever Beta on YouTube

Aldi Süd has appointed Horst Leitner as the new CEO of its Hofer subsidiary. Leitner will take office on 1 December 2018.

“Helm contributed decisively”…

Leitner will replace Günther Helm, who has held the title of head of Hofer since 2010. Helm has decided to leave Aldi to “pursue new professional challenges”.

Aldi commented, “Helm contributed decisively to the definition of the strategic orientation of the Hofer Group and not least to the successful entry into the Italian market. Under his leadership, the process of developing the international strategies of the entire group have been decisively pursued”.

…and will be replaced by Leitner

Leitner joined Aldi in 1992 and took over the central purchasing of Hofer in 2006. In 2016, Leitner was appointed as a member of the board of Directors of Aldi USA, where he currently sits.

Growth in the British grocery market has slowed significantly as both inflation and volume growth slipped, according to the latest market update from Kantar Worldpanel.

Inflation and volumes slip

In the 12 weeks to 4 November 2018, the market grew by 2.6%, down from 3.2% in the 12 weeks to October 7th. Inflation also eased from +2.0% to +1.8% between the two periods, suggesting that volume growth fell from 1.2% to 0.8%. While the exclusion of Guy Fawkes night from the 2018 period may have taken the edge off growth, a more significant factor is likely to have been the continuing outperformance of the discounters and weakness of the premium players.

Discount momentum continues

Aldi continued to set the pace for the market. Its growth of 15.5% was its fastest rate since January and its market share growth over the last year is the biggest of any retailer in nearly four years. For more on how Aldi plans to grow and develop its proposition, visit our newly updated Strategic Outlook for Aldi UK. Lidl has also recorded double digit growth, enabling its market share to close the gap on Co-op, while Iceland's growth picked up to 5.0%, helped by its widening appeal to more affluent social groups. Nearly 37% of its sales now come from ABC1s, up from a third five years ago and most of the sales growth is coming from fresh, chilled and ambient lines.

Strong growth from Co-op

Co-op was another big winner this period with sales growth of 5.1% pushing its market share up by 0.2 percentage points to 6.3%. Kantar reports that the grocer attracted an extra 213,000 shoppers this period and own label products sold particularly strongly.

Premium players struggle

Sales at Waitrose fell by 1.0%, confirming a weak series of weekly trading updates from the retailer, while growth at Ocado fell sharply from 7.5% to 4.3%. Separate Nielsen data released today also indicates a decline in sales of -1.2% at M&S, following on from disappointing interim results last week.

Revival for Asda

Among the Big Four, Asda was the strongest performer and the only one to grow faster than last month. Its 2.6% growth means the retailer has been in continuous growth since April 2017. Asda was helped by a strong online performance and by the growing popularity of its relaunched private label offer, Its progress contrasts with prospective owner Sainsbury's which registered a 0.6% fall in sales, its first decline since June 2018. Asda will report its Q3 results on Thursday. Watch out for our updated Strategic Outlook for Sainsbury's presentation, which will be released later this week.


12 weeks to 5 Nov 2017 (% share)

12 weeks to 4 Nov 2018 (% share)

Sales growth (Y-o-Y %)

Tesco 28.1 27.5 0.4
Sainsbury's 16.3 15.8 -0.6
Asda 15.3 15.3 2.6
Morrisons 10.4 10.3 1.5
Aldi 6.7 7.6 15.5
Co-op 6.1 6.3 5.1
Lidl 5.1 5.5 10.2
Waitrose & Partners 5.3 5.1 -1.0
Iceland 2.0 2.1 5.0
Ocado 1.1 1.1 4.3
Other multiples 1.7 1.8 8.1
Total symbols & independents 1.8 1.6 -7.3

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

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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.
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