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Competition is the hottest it has ever been for Ireland's top supermarket slot

Three chains are within a few percentage points of being crowned market leader.

SuperValu is close to taking Tesco's crown as Ireland's most popular supermarket
SuperValu is close to taking Tesco's crown as Ireland's most popular supermarket
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

TESCO, SUPERVALU and Dunnes are all vying for bragging rights as Ireland’s favourite supermarket chain coming into the key Christmas shopping period.

New consumer spending figures for the 12 weeks to early November showed UK import Tesco has dropped to its lowest share of the grocery market in years from its previous perch as the clear market leader.

The SuperValu chain has been sniffing at its heels as Ireland’s most popular supermarket brand, while Dunnes Stores also recorded a strong lift in trade when compared to the same time last year.

The latest findings from Kantar Worldpanel Ireland showed Tesco had 24.9% of the total grocery market – down from nearly 30% two years ago – while SuperValu had 24.5% and Dunnes 23.5%.

SuperValu has enjoyed a big boost from its buyout of the Superquinn chain, particularly in increasing its reach across the Dublin region.

Meanwhile, the onward march of German outlets Aldi and Lidl continues with both posting double-digit increases in their trade on the equivalent period in 2013.

Kantar Source: Kantar Worldpanel Ireland

The hot competition has led to a virtual advertising war breaking out between the big players with Tesco, Aldi and Lidl all recently sinking huge cash into their marketing campaigns in Ireland.

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‘Intense’ competition for shoppers’ cash

Overall, the Irish grocery market grew 1.1% compared to last year’s figures, which Kantar’s commercial director David Berry said was in “stark contrast” to the UK market which had been shrinking for the first time on record.

“Competition in the market is intensifying as the battle to be the number one grocer wages on,” he said.

The top three retailers are separated by less than 1.5% share – a record narrow divide at the top of the market. There really is all to play for among the big retailers as the critically important Christmas period approaches.”

READ: We’re paying more for alcohol, tobacco and dining out than this time last year >

READ: Tesco’s latest results make for very ugly reading and its chairman wants out >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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