Aldi and Lidl take a bite out of Big Four supermarkets


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The Independent Online

Mega discounters Aldi and Lidl have upped the pressure on the big supermarkets by winning shoppers and increasing market share.

Aldi’s sales rose 35.3% in the12 weeks to March 30 — its fastest-ever growth rate — to notch up a record 4.6% share of the grocery market, according to Kantar Worldpanel data released today.

Lidl recorded a 17.2% surge in sales as its share rose to 3.4% from 2.9% over the same period last year.

Shoppers have increasingly sought out the German-owned food retailers as they open rafts of new stores offering low prices on exclusive lines.

Their unstoppable growth over the last year has hurt larger rivals. Beleaguered Morrisons was the biggest loser of the “Big Four” grocers, its sales slowed by 3.8% and it now holds an 11.1% market share, down from 11.6% last year.

Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s all reported slowing sales as the growth of the discounters, as well as premium grocer Waitrose, hit performance.

Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have all pledged to invest to lower prices to fight off increasing pressure from Aldi and Lidl.

Sainsbury’s 1.7% slide in sales will come as a blow to outgoing chief executive Justin King, who departs in July after an almost unblemished sales record at the retailer.

Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner said: “All the Big Four supermarkets have faced declining sales over the past 12 weeks, which has been accentuated by the late falling of Easter. Nevertheless, they have also seen worrying share declines, with the most resilient performance coming from Asda.”