Despite growth slowing in the lead up to Christmas, sales in the Irish grocery market reached over €1bn in December for the first time on record, according to Kantar. Overall market sales growth was 1.5% in the 12 weeks to December 29th.
Discounters lead the way
Aldi was the strongest performer of the festive season, with sales +6.3%. Lidl reached its highest ever market share in the period, of 10.9%. For both retailers, sales were driven by premium private label products, with Aldi's growing at 9% and Lidl's 6%.
Positive performance from other leading retailers
Dunnes was the only retailer to not experience a slowdown in growth compared to the previous month. The festive period is typically strong for the retailer due to shoppers trading up to more premium products. It reached 23.6% market share over Christmas, 1.2pp higher than its average for the rest of the year.
SuperValu grew sales by 1.4%, a slight increase on its 2018 Christmas results.
kantar recorded Tesco's growth as the slowest in the market at 0.1%, however it retained its spot as second largest retailer in the country. Tesco itself reported 0.6% growth in six weeks to January 4th lifted by the success of its 'You Won't Pay More' campaign and by a 15% rise in online orders.
Outperforming the UK
The positive results show the Irish grocery market's strong footing in comparison to the UK continues. Results showed a challenging Christmas period for almost all grocery retailers in the UK, with sales growing by just 0.2% in the 12 weeks to December 29th. The British Retail Consortium Monitor showed UK retail sales fell by 0.9% over the two months of November and December combined, ending a year in which overall sales fell for the first time ever in the life of the BRC measure.
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