December was a record-breaking month for the Irish grocery market, with sales of €1.2 bn on groceries, according to the latest results from Kantar.
The market grew 17% in the 12 weeks to 27 December, with lockdown restrictions and Christmas contributing to the strong sales increase. Dunnes retained the largest market share during the period. Notable performances also came from Lidl and Tesco, which we explore in more detail below.
Increased spending drives growth
Growth was driven by increased spending, with shoppers purchasing on average €134 more on groceries in December than they did in 2019.
Spending over the festive period was in general more spread out than usual, with shoppers preparing for Christmas earlier than in previous years. However, the busiest day of the year remained very close to Christmas. For Ireland this was Wednesday 23 December. This was slightly later than in the UK, where the busiest day was Monday 21 December.
Lidl was the fastest growing retailer
Lidl had a strong festive season, finishing the period as the fastest growing retailer, at +27%. The discounter's market share decreased in December to 11.8%, compared to 12.5% in the November reporting period. However, looking at the year as a whole, Lidl made the most gains, with an increase of 0.9pp on 2019's Christmas period.
Tesco grows market share
Tesco grew its market share to 22.1% in December, a 0.6pp increase on the previous reporting period. It now holds a market share equal to SuperValu. Growing basket size was the main driver of growth for the retailer.
Online continues to grow share of sales
Digital orders accounted for 4.1% of all grocery sales in December, compared to 2.8% in December 2019. Irish households spent €133m through the channel in the past 12 weeks.
|Total take home grocery consumer spend
||12 weeks to 29th December 2019
||12 weeks to 27th December 2020
||% Change in value sales
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Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd, the Northern Irish subsidiary of Dunnes Holding Company has released its FY19 results revealing sales of +2.5%.
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