Aldi And Lidl Remain Britain's Fastest Growing Grocers

FTSE 100 watch Index to pause after record highs

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Sales at German retailers Aldi and Lidl grew 17% year-on-year in the 12 week period, with both retailer competing to become the country's fastest growing supermarket chain.

"Shoppers parted with £747 million on December 22 alone, making the Friday before Christmas the busiest shopping day ever recorded".

Aldi's share of the entire United Kingdom grocery market rose from 6% to 6.8% and Lidl's from 4.4% to 5%.

Separate market share figures from Nielsen, which were also released today, indicated that shoppers spent nearly £500 million more on groceries in December compared to the prior year, with Tesco also seeing the largest sales growth of the Big 4 in the final quarter.

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While Tesco's market share decreased by 0.2 per cent to 28 per cent, it was still well ahead of its nearest rival Sainsbury's, which recorded a market share of 16.4 per cent - a three per cent year-on-year decline.

Sales at Waitrose increased by 2.3%, but fell by 0.2% at Co-op, as the retailers captured 5.2% and 5.8% of the market respectively.

The other members of the Big 4 - Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons - all saw gains of about 2% as overall sales for the sector rose 3.8% to £28.9bn compared to a year ago. Tesco Express, like other convenience stores, benefitted from restricted Sunday opening hours for larger supermarkets and were able to capitalise on consumers preferring to shop closer to home immediately before Christmas Day.

"Shoppers are splashing out despite fewer promotions to tempt them", McKevitt said.

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"Rising to the challenge, Aldi and Lidl collectively managed to attract almost one million additional households during the past three months". Aldi increased market share by 0.8 percentage points year on year to capture 6.8% of the market, with 39% of trips including at least one product from its premium Specially Selected range. Fellow discounter Lidl also increased its market share, from 4.4 per cent to 4.9 per cent.

That is the lowest level of promotional activity at Christmas since 2009.

Kantar Worldpanel's latest data also indicated that grocery inflation saw like-for-like prices rise by 3.7 per cent.

Spending over the four weeks to December 30 hit £10.5 billion, a 3.7% year-on-year rise, Nielsen said, with grocery sales up 3.2% over the whole of 2017 on the previous year.

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"Those who could offer and deliver on last minute delivery options did better, boosting online non-food sales more than 15% in the seven days before Christmas, a week when, until now, shoppers would have had to turn to stores to ensure gifts made it under the tree in time", Dickinson said.

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