Lidl retains crown as fastest-growing supermarket chain

German discounter Lidl is once again the UK's fastest-growing supermarket with a record market share of 5.3 per cent, latest industry figures show.

Lidl racked up a 19.2% jump in sales. Picture: Jane Barlow
Lidl racked up a 19.2% jump in sales. Picture: Jane Barlow

Almost two-thirds of shoppers visited a Lidl or its rival Aldi in the past three months, with the two retailers now accounting for almost £1 in every £8 spent in Britain’s supermarkets, up from £1 in £25 a decade ago, Kantar Worldpanel said.

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Supermarket sales overall were up 3.6 per cent over the 12 weeks to 10 September on the same time last year, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth of more than 3 per cent, largely driven by grocery inflation.

However, poor weather in August hit sales of traditional summer items, with prepared salads seeing a 6 per cent dip and sun care down 16 per cent.

In contrast, consumers spent almost £4 million on cold treatments in August, an increase of almost £2m on the same month last year.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “We haven’t seen sustained market growth of this kind since May 2013.

“A 1.5 per cent increase in the volume of goods going through the tills has contributed to this growth while the remainder of the overall sales increase is down to higher prices.

“Like-for-like grocery inflation now stands at 3.2 per cent, slightly ahead of the headline CPI rate and down 0.1 percentage points on last month.

“The average British household spends almost £4,200 in the grocers each year so a fall in inflation, which we expect to see as we approach the end of the year, will be a welcome relief.”

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Lidl was the fastest-growing supermarket with a sales increase of 19.2 per cent, while Aldi’s growth of 15.6 per cent took its market share to 6.9 per cent.

Tesco’s recovery continued with sales up 2.7 per cent, although its market share was squeezed by 0.3 percentage points to 27.8 per cent, while Sainsbury’s market share fell 0.2 percentage points to 15.7 per cent.

Asda attracted an extra 482,000 shoppers compared with a year ago, the fastest rate by the retailer in more than three years.

Despite announcing a fall in profits last week, Waitrose’s sales increased by 2.4 per cent and it held on to a 5.3 per cent share of the market, currently level with Lidl.

Figures from Nielsen suggest that the rising cost of household groceries means shoppers are increasingly turning to supermarket own-label products.

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Spending on own-label items is up 5.5 per cent year-on-year, nearly five times the growth seen on branded products.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “The return of inflation means shoppers are increasingly turning to supermarkets’ own-label products to help manage their weekly grocery spend.

“Own-brand sales are growing across all major food retailers but fastest at the discounters – Aldi and Lidl – and at the Co-operative, Iceland, M&S and Tesco.”