Lidl locks down lead over rivals

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Lidl has been storming ahead as the only multiple with double-digit growth.

BEFORE the COVID-19 outbreak led to a boost in spending across the grocery sector, the discounters were continuing to storm ahead in the UK, according to figures from Kantar and Nielsen.

Lidl’s performance was the best of the bunch, with Kantar finding the discounter was the fastest growing superma

rket since 2017. Kantar’s data revealed sales up 11.4% at Lidl for the 12 weeks ending 23 February as compared to the same period last year.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said: “Lidl has been benefitting from its store expansion for a number of years, hitting a landmark in February by opening its 800th British store.

“The new locations have helped to bring in nearly 900,000 additional shoppers to the supermarket this period, and its proportion of market sales has increased from 5.2% last year to 5.8%”

Nielsen also found Lidl expanding its market share rapidly. with a 10.5% sales change for the 12 weeks to 22 February as compared to the same period last year. Aldi was the second best performer in sales growth terms, up 3.1% for the period.

By contrast, the big four had a much more subdued start to the year according to the latest figures from Nielsen.

Sainsbury’s was the only big-four supermarket to show sales growth over the period, up 0.6%. while Morrisons was the biggest loser down 1.8%.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight said: “British grocery retailers will be pleased that since experiencing the lowest growth over the Christmas period since 2014, it appears that we are finally starting to see the green shoots of improvement.”