Why Aldi and Lidl will keep on growing

UPDATE: The Big Four may soon become the Big Three, but not if the Germans have anything to say about it.

by Adam Gale

It’s four years since German budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl began in earnest their assault against the established ‘Big Four’ British grocers. Both stores had been slowly growing in the UK beforehand, but the hubristic expansion of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons created a distinct opportunity.

The mood among shoppers had turned from range to convenience, while value was more important than ever. Burdened with a network of half-populated hypermarkets, Tesco and the gang were therefore woefully unready for the price war the expansive ‘discounters’ (they hate the term) unleashed.

Their campaign was a great success. Aldi has already overtaken the Co-Op to become Britain's fifth biggest supermarket by market share, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel, while Lidl has pipped Waitrose for seventh place. In the 12 weeks to 22 April 2018, Aldi commanded 7.3% of the UK grocery market, and Lidl was on 5.4%.

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