Aldi and Lidl toast record Christmas

The discount retailers are continuing to put pressure on their more established rivals.

by Angus Walker
Last Updated: 17 Nov 2015

Discount retailers Aldi and Lidl have piled the pressure on their more established rivals after enjoying their best-ever Christmas sales. Aldi was up by 20% and Lidl by 10% year on year, according to analysts Shore Capital.
 
The German duo did not release their own figures. However, Aldi said it had had ‘its busiest Christmas since opening in the UK’ and Lidl claimed it had achieved its ‘best performance to date over the Christmas period’.
 
Their performance contrasts with Tesco, which is expected to post like for likes down by up as much as 2.5%, and Sainsbury’s, which is thought be at risk of ending its 35-quarter run of rising sales.
 
Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said he expected pre-Christmas trends to have continued over the festive period, so that among food retailers, ‘the hard discounters are expected to have remained in the groove, gaining share, although we are not sure that Iceland shared in the "value party" to the extent that Aldi and Lidl did’.
 
The strong figures cap a satisfying year for Aldi, which last June was voted Which? best supermarket of the year – the only retailer to have won the award two years running. Aldi also won the retail sector in Britain's Most Admired Companies awards 2013, rising from fifth last year.
 
However, impressive as the forecasts are, the two value chains represent only 7.1% of the UK grocery market, with Tesco, even after recent woes, still on 29.9%, according to Kantar market share data.
 
Industry sources suggest a total turnover for Aldi and Lidl of £8bn for 2013. While shoppers are often drawn to them because of lower prices, convenience is a factor too. ‘Aldi and Lidl are very easy places for consumers to shop in,’ said Bryan Roberts of Kantar Retail insights, who added: ‘They don’t demand much of their customers. They are usually located close to where people live, they are smaller and quicker to get around and they offer very competitive prices.’

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