Aldi and Lidl worth £344m more than last year as spring temperatures cool sector

Discounters Aldi and Lidl are worth a collective £344 million more than this time last year as a cooler spring slowed supermarket spending against last May’s record temperatures, figures show.

The two supermarkets reached a combined record market share of 13.8% over the 12 weeks to May 19 as almost one million more households visited Aldi compared with last year and an additional 630,000 shopped at Lidl, Kantar reported.

Their success comes as the grocery market grew by 1.3% compared with the same period last year, when the hottest May on record combined with the royal wedding and FA Cup final resulted in a 2.7% boost for the sector.

Retail sales figures
Retail sales figures

Sales of beer and lager, ice cream and sun care fell by 7%, 12% and 16% respectively during the past four weeks as cooler weather impacted upon discretionary spending.

Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar, said: “Growth of 1.3% may appear modest when compared with last year’s 2.7%, however the sector continues to demonstrate resilience and volume sales remain unchanged from last year.

“We have two European football finals with British interest, the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup to look forward to in the coming weeks, and retailers will be aiming to capitalise on these events and attract more shoppers throughout summer.”

While Tesco’s overall sales were flat, its performance was the strongest out of the big four during the past 12 weeks.

Aside from Aldi and Lidl, the Co-op delivered the strongest bricks-and-mortar sales growth of 3.7%.

Source: Nielsen
Source: Nielsen

With the Competition and Markets Authority ruling against the proposed merger now behind them, Asda and Sainsbury’s are in joint second place this period as overall sales at Asda fell 0.2% despite online growth of 10.7%.

Morrisons remains Britain’s fourth largest supermarket with a market share of 10.4% down, from 10.5% this time last year.

Analysts Nielsen also reported grocery spending falling by 1.6% in May in the absence of another spring heatwave.

Its figures show falling sales at three out of the top four supermarkets, and also at M&S, over the last 12 weeks, with Aldi and Lidl continuing to gain market share with double digit growth.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “Consumer confidence remains unchanged and with the cost of household bills continuing to rise, and 40% of households feeling insecure about their finances, the economy remains the number one concern for shoppers.

“The result is that shoppers remain cautious about their grocery spend as they look to manage their overall household budgets.”