Lidl: fastest growing retailer in Ireland

Date : 25 August 2020

Lucy Ingram

Retail Analyst

In the 12 weeks to 9th August, take-home grocery sales growth slowed to 18.0%, according to Kantar. We look at the results in more detail, including the strong performance from the discount and online channels.

Average spend decreases and frequency of visit slows

In this reporting period shoppers continued to transition back towards normal shopping behaviours as restrictions eased. In the most recent four weeks, grocery sales were €930m, the lowest they have been since February.

Lidl overtakes SuperValu to become the fastest growing retailer

Both discounters continued to grow strongly in this period, with Lidl remaining the stronger performer of the two with sales at +25%, compared to +18.4% at Aldi. This made Lidl the fastest growing retailer, overtaking SuperValu.

Earlier in August Lidl announced its sales had reached over €2bn for the first time. The discounter now has over 200 stores in Ireland, 40 of which are in Northern Ireland. By the end of 2020 Lidl is looking to open a further 11 stores and refit or extend a another 12. It also plans to open a new distribution centre in Mulligner in 2022, at a cost of €75m.

Despite losing its top spot SuperValu's performance was still strong, helping the retailer retain the highest market share for the fifth month in a row. It also continues to buck the trend of falling average spend, as basket size continue to grow, with volumes up 25%.

Online reaches record market share

Although restrictions have eased, shoppers continue to spend more online. Sales growth was 125% in this period, leading to the channel's highest ever market share of 4.6%.

We are continuing to see the online channel evolve as retailers look to satisfy the growing demand from shoppers. Lidl has extended its online service to six stores in Cork, serving approximately 86,000 households, according to Irish Tech News.

Lidl first launched online delivery in 2018, in partnership with Buymie. Buymie is a third-party grocery delivery service that began as a start-up in Dublin. It uses self-employed couriers to fulfil orders placed on an app in a similar way to Deliveroo, for same-day delivery. After a successful trial it rolled out the service across Dublin in January 2019. During the beginning of lockdown Buymie recruited for an extra 200 members of staff, to satisfy the growing demand for the service. This latest extension of the service shows it is likely to continue to grow in the future.

Tesco's online business has continued to perform well, with 16% of all sales coming from the channel, up from 9% before the pandemic, according to the Irish Times. Tesco has recruited an extra 1,000 employees since the beginning of the pandemic to help it maintain a smooth delivery service during the increased demand.

Detailed results

Total take home grocery consumer spend 12 weeks to 11th August 2019 12 weeks to 9th August 2020 % Change in value sales
Total outlets 100% 100% 18.0%
Total multiples 89.2% 89.3% 18.2%
Dunnes 21.6% 20.5% 11.7%
Tesco 21.5% 21.1% 15.4%
SuperValu 21.4% 22.3% 23.5%
Aldi 12.6% 12.6% 18.4%
Lidl 12.0% 12.8% 25.0%
Other outlets 10.8% 10.7% 16.8%

Source: Kantar

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