Lidl overtakes Waitrose to become the UK’s seventh biggest supermarket

Aldi and Lidl continue to make massive gains in the UK grocery market as the big four supermarkets lose out on market share.


The UK’s love for the discounters shows no signs of fading, with Lidl now the nation’s seventh biggest supermarket.

Lidl reached a new market share high of 5.2% as sales rose an impressive 18.9% in the 12 weeks to 13 August, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. This means Lidl finally leapfrogged Waitrose; something larger rival Aldi achieved back in 2015.

It was also good news for Aldi. Over the same period, its sales rose 17.2%, giving it a 7% market share. According to Fraser McKevitt, head of consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, we’re now a nation of fully-adjusted discounter shoppers.

“Ten million households visited Lidl’s ever-expanding network of stores during the past 12 weeks, with alcohol and fresh produce performing particularly well as the retailer increased sales by 18.9% overall,” he explains.

“Lidl is growing sales 40% faster with families than with households without children. Families tend to buy more items each time they shop, so strong growth with this demographic has helped Lidl to increase its average basket size year on year.”

But despite this rapid growth for the German discounters, sales at the big four supermarkets are holding out. Tesco, Sainsbury’s Asda and Morrisons all increased sales for the fifth period in a row, marking the big four’s best performance since 2013.

However, this wasn’t enough to prevent each from losing market share to Aldi and Lidl. And McKevitt says even though the likes of Morrisons, Tesco and Asda have each reversed falling sales over recent months, they can still expect to lose market share.

“This welcome period of sustained growth hasn’t been enough to entirely offset pressure from the discounters,” he adds. “The big four now account for just 69.3% of the UK grocery market – down from 76.3% five years ago – and that looks set to fall even more in the coming months.”

For the latest period, Kantar says the rate of inflation rose to 3.3% after holding steady at 3.2% over the previous two months. At current levels, inflation will add an extra £138 to the average household’s annual grocery bill in 2017.

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