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Irish people change to 'little and often' shopping trips

Supermarket share analysts say the notion of the ‘big shop’ not as popular as before – while supermarket market grows slightly here for second month in row.

AN ANALYSIS OF the supermarket sector in Ireland has found that there was a small growth – of 0.4 per cent – in grocery sales in November.

Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, who compiled the figures, said that while it was encouraging that it was the second consecutive month of growth in this market, it still had a long way to go to catch up with inflation, which stands at 4.2 per cent.

The run-up to Christmas had an impact and David Berry, commercial director at Kantar, said that the company had tracked a change in how people are buying groceries. Instead of one ‘big shop’, consumers are trying to conduct their shopping in ‘little and often’ trips to the supermarket. He said that the average household is making an extra 2.5 grocery trips this year – “that’s an additional four million trips across the country”.

There is no doubt that household budgets are increasingly stretched and this is reflected in the changing nature of the grocery shop.

Dunnes Stores is doing better this month than in previous month, said Berry. This will come as welcome news to the 18,000 employees of the company who heard late last month that developers of a Kilkenny shopping centre were taking a case against Dunnes on foot of what they claimed was an unpaid debt of €21 million.

Berry said:

Fortunes at Dunnes have also begun to improve this month. Despite sales growth at the retailer still trailing behind the market, it has strengthened its position since September when sales declined by almost 8 per cent. Dunnes now has a 23.2 per cent market share and is in a better position to compete as the crucial Christmas trading period approaches.

Aldi saw sales growth above 30 per cent for the second successive month and Tesco has had a boost in market share of 0.2 points to 27.9 per cent. According to Kandar, Aldi’s success is down to attracting more shoppers to their stores and getting them to shop more often, and spend more per shop. Tesco’s secret, apparently, is its wide shopper base – 83 per cent of Irish households have shopped in Tesco over the last three months which is up 3 per cent on that figure last year.

The market share now stands as follows:

  • Tesco 27.9 per cent
  • Dunnes Stores 23.2 per cent
  • SuperValu 19.4 per cent
  • Superquinn 5.3 per cent
  • Aldi 6.2 per cent
  • Lidl 6.2 per cent
  • Discounter stores 12.5 per cent
  • Other outlets (includes stores such as M&S, Boots, Spar, Centra, individual greengrocers, butchers) 11.7 per cent

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