Aldi, Lidl Markets See Biggest Rise in UK Since January 2015

By Ian Walker Features Dow Jones Newswires

German retailers Aldi and Lidl have experienced their biggest U.K. market share rise since January 2015 as more shoppers flock to their stores seeking lower prices for their groceries, a survey showed Wednesday.

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Aldi's market share rose to 7.0% in the 12 weeks ended May 21, compared with 6.0% a year earlier, while Lidl's share rose to 5.0%, from 4.4% in the 12 weeks ended May 22, 2016, Kantar Worldpanel said. Kantar monitors the household grocery purchasing habits of 25,000 demographically representative households in the U.K.

"With sales up 19% year on year, the pair achieved a record market share of 12%. 62% of the U.K. population shopped in an Aldi or Lidl during the past 12 weeks, compared to just 58% this time last year, that's an additional 1.1 million households visiting either of these stores," Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar Worldpanel said.

"Consumers are starting to feel the pinch as prices continue to rise, with the average household spending an additional 27 pounds ($34.61) on groceries during the past 12 weeks," Mr. Hayward added.

He said that if inflation continues at its current rate over the course of a year an extra GBP119 would be spent on groceries per household.

Separately, a survey by Nielsen Homescan shows that Aldi's U.K. market share has risen to 8.1% in the 12 weeks ended May 20, from 7.1% in the comparable period ended May 21, 2016, while Lidl's has risen to 5.4%, from 4.7%. Neilsen measures buying habits through its 15,000 geo-demographically balanced panel. Aldi's sales rose 13% in the 12 weeks, while Lidl's rose 11%.

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At the top end of the scale, Tesco PLC's (TSCO.LN) market share fell to 27.8% in the latest 12 weeks, from 28.3% for the comparable period. However, sales in the 12 weeks were up 1.8% at GBP7.34 billion.

Sainsbury PLC's (SBRY.LN) market share in the 12 weeks ended May 21 fell to 15.9%, from 16.2%, while sales rose 1.7% to GBP4.21 billion, Kantar reports.

Asda, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), saw its market share fall to 15.4%, from 15.8% for the comparable 12 weeks, with sales 0.9% higher at GBP4.06 billion. Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC's (MRW.LN) market share fell to 10.5%, from 10.7%, while sales rose 1.9% to GBP2.78 billion

Up-market retailer Waitrose' market share fell to 5.2% in the 12 weeks ended May 21 from 5.3% in the comparable period, but sales climbed 3.3% to GBP1.39 billion, Kantar reported.

Aldi's sales in the 12 weeks have grown 20% to GBP1.85 billion, while Lidl's sales have risen 18% to GBP1.33 billion.

According to Nielsen, Tesco's market share has dropped to 27.2% in the 12 weeks ended May 20, from 27.6% for the comparable period ended May 21, 2016, Sainsbury's fell to 15.1%, from 15.5%, Asda fell to 14%, from 14.5% and Morrisons fell to 10% from 10.3%.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 31, 2017 03:43 ET (07:43 GMT)