Published: Wed, February 08, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Aldi overtakes Co-op to become fifth largest supermarket in UK

Aldi has overtaken the Co-op to become the UK's fifth largest grocer as the discount supermarket stepped up the pace of growth in January.

Walmart's (WMT) continued to lose ground in the low-priced competitors gain steam and inflation takes hold, industry figures from Kantar Worldpanel released Tuesday show.

Kantar Worldpanel head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said: "Just a decade ago Aldi was the UK's tenth largest food retailer, accounting for less than 2% of the grocery market". Since then it has grown rapidly.

Asda's decline has started to slow with Kantar Worldpanel noting the retailer managed to increase the number of shoppers visiting store compared to the same time period previous year. This was slower than its previous rate, and its market share has been ebbed away 0.4 per cent compared to past year.

Kantar's data, which measured market share for the 12 weeks to 29 January, had Aldi accounting for 6.2% of grocery sales in the United Kingdom, above the 6% recorded for The Co-op. McKevitt said the retailer had seen a 7% increase in its own-label sales.

According to the survey, Morrisons was the fastest-growing retailer within the big four, increasing its market share for the first time since June 2015 with a sales uplift of 1.9% year-over-year. A 9.4% year on year sales increase for Lidl buoyed the retailer's market share by 0.3 percentage points, leaving the discounter holding 4.5% of the United Kingdom grocery market.

Overall supermarket sales were up 1.7 per cent compared to 2016, despite supply issues with fresh produce.

Kantar said Sainsbury's sales were flat, while its market share fell by 0.3 percentage points to stand at 16.5%.

Tesco saw growth for the fifth consecutive period, with sales up 0.3% year-on-year.

Rival German-owned discounter Lidl also saw sales grow during the period but still has just a 4.5% market share, behind Waitrose at 5.3%.

Sales were flat at second-ranked Sainsbury's, but fell 1.9% at Asda, owned by U.S. giant Wal-Mart.

McKevitt said: "11M households buy courgettes annually, but supply issues contributed to 759,000 fewer shoppers buying them this January - that's a 31% drop in spending compared with the same month past year".

The coming year will continue to be a tense one as rising prices continue.

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