Lidl overtakes Waitrose to become 7th largest UK grocer

Lidl has overtaken Waitrose to become the seventh largest grocer in the UK as the discounters continue grow at more than four times the rate of the Big 4.

According to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel, Lidl saw an 18.9 per cent increase in sales in the 12 weeks to August 13, raising its market share to a record high of 5.2 per cent.

“Lidl is growing sales 40 per cent faster with families than with households without children,” Kantar head of retail Fraser McKevitt said.

“Families tend to buy more items each time they shop, so strong growth with this demographic has helped Lidl to increase its average basket size year on year.”

“Not far behind, Aldi grew sales by 17.2 per cent, attracting 1.1 million more shoppers through its doors than this time last year and increasing market share by 0.8 percentage points to stand at seven per cent.”

Meanwhile among the Big 4, Tesco grew its sales by three per cent but lost 0.3 per cent of its dominant market share.

Sainsbury’s sales also saw a two per cent jump, but its market share also fell 0.3 per cent to 15.8 per cent.

Morrisons continued its successful turnaround boosted by a strong online performance. Sales jumped 2.6 per cent while its market share dropped to 10.4 per cent.

Asda also recently reported a return to positive growth following more than 10 consecutive quarters of decline. This was driven by its own-brand items with both the value Farm Stores line and premium Extra Special lines showing double digit growth over the period.

“All four of Britain’s biggest grocers managed to grow sales for the fifth consecutive period, a run of collective success not seen since 2013,” McKevitt said.

“However, this welcome period of sustained growth hasn’t been enough to entirely offset pressure from the discounters: the Big 4 now account for just 69.3 per cent of the UK grocery market – down from 76.3 per cent five years ago – and that looks set to fall further in the coming months.”

Widespread growth was helped along by grocery inflation, increasing slightly to 3.3 per cent in the period.

Elsewhere, Waitrose increased its sales by 2.8 per cent, managing to hold its market share steady at 5.1 per cent.

Co-op was the only major grocer to report a decline in sales, dropping four per cent alongside a market share drop of 0.3 per cent. This is largely due to it selling 300 of its convenience stores to McColl’s.

Online pureplay grocer Ocado was hot on the discounters heels as its growth rates shot up 12.4 per cent, raising its market share to 1.4 per cent.

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