Aldi replaces Waitrose to become the UK’s sixth biggest supermarket

Aldi has overtaken Waitrose to become the UK’s sixth largest supermarket, for the 12 weeks ending 29 March, as the rapid ascent of the German discounters shows no signs of slowing down.

Aldi, which has now recorded double-digit sales growth for the past four years, saw its sales rise 16.8% and its market share increase by 0.7 percentage points to 5.3% for the latest period covered by Kantar Worldpanel.

Lidl and Waitrose, meanwhile, were the only other retailers to grow sales ahead of the market.

Waitrose, which has increased its sales by 2.9% over the past year, now accounts for 5.1% of the grocery market, while Lidl’s 12.1% sales growth means it now controls 3.7%.

“Aldi’s growth has been fuelled by over half a million new shoppers choosing to visit it this year and average basket sizes increasing by 7%,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retailer and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

In terms of the big four, Tesco continued to show signs of a turnaround as it grew sales by 0.3%. Sainsbury’s grew sales by 0.2% slowing its previous market share decline – which was down only 0.1 percentage point to 16.4%. In comparison, Morrisons and Asda saw respective sales declines of 0.7% and 1.1%.

Price wars

The latest Kantar figures come at a time of deep price cuts among Britain’s supermarkets, with the big four still engaged in a price war to win back shoppers lost to Aldi and Lidl.

Shop prices hit the deepest deflation rate since records began after they fell 2.1% during March, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

The index revealed food prices dropped by 0.9% in March as non-food prices plunged by 2.8%.

“The changing structure of Britain’s supermarket landscape is illustrated by two facts,” added McKevitt, who revealed that the price of UK groceries is now 2% cheaper than a year ago.

“Firstly, the so called discounters Aldi and Lidl now command a combined 9.0% share of the market.  In 2012 the same two retailers only accounted for 5.4% of grocery sales.  Secondly, the 72.8% share taken by the biggest four retailers is now at the lowest level in a decade.”