Aldi surges as shoppers go bargain hunting
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Wednesday 12 October 2011
Aldi and its fellow discount grocers are raking it in at the till at the expense of the big four supermarkets, with new figures confirming that cash-strapped consumers are increasingly trading down in their hunt for bargains.
Where Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons grew sales by single digits in the 12 weeks to 2 October, Aldi notched up growth of 25.1 per cent, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel. Iceland and Lidl saw growth of more than 10 per cent year on year.
The figures follow Tesco's announcement last month of its £500m Big Price Drop campaign to lure customers. Kantar said the chain had seen 4.2 per cent growth in the 12 week period, which led to a fall in its share of the grocery market to 30.6 per cent from 30.9 per cent last year. Sales at Sainsbury's – which this week responded with its Brand Match campaign to match prices at Tesco and Asda – grew by 5.1 per cent, leaving its market share unchanged at 15.9 per cent. Asda also managed to hold its market share at 17.1 per cent, ending the declines seen in the past.
Morrisons fared best, with sales rising by 6 per cent. "Morrisons posted the strongest growth of the big four ... but all of these retailers are responding to stretched household budgets with promotional initiatives," Kantar's director Edward Garner said.
The premium end of the market remained buoyant as those with cash to spare continued to spend, with Waitrose achieving sales growth of 9.4 per cent. The premium ranges at Tesco and Sainsbury's also showed double-digit growth over the period.
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