Discounters make gains as UK supermarket growth slows

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Monday 23 December was the largest shopping day ever recorded in the UK, according to the latest figures from Kantar, when £798 million of goods were sold.

Retailers saw £29.3 billion go through the tills during the ‘golden quarter’  in the 12 weeks ending 29 December 2019.

However sales were up just 0.2% or £50m from last year’s same period, with 2019 seeing the slowest rate of growth since 2015.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said: “There was no sign of the post-election rush many had hoped for in the final weeks before Christmas, with shoppers carefully watching their budgets.

“Sales of Christmas puddings were down by 16%, while seasonal biscuits were 11% lower.  Turkey sales also fell by 1%, partly down to a shift from whole birds to smaller and cheaper joints such as crowns.

“As predicted, Monday 23 December was easily the single busiest shopping day of 2019 – and indeed the largest shopping day ever recorded – worth £798 million as the nation stocked up before Christmas Eve.”

Lidl Southampton

Average household spending over the 12 weeks fell by £8 to £1,055, while total volume sales fell by 0.7%.

Even though LFL prices only rose by 0.9%, the low level of inflation was not enough to boost the overall market.

Lidl led the way with sales growth of 10.3% over the past 12 weeks, with branded items seeing an increase in sales of 24%.

McKevitt said: “It’s worth remembering just how quickly Lidl and Aldi have grown.  Their current combined market share of 13.7% is more than treble what they held in December 2009, an unprecedented increase over the course of ten years.”

Individually, Aldi’s sales were up by 5.9%, and its market share grew by 0.4 percentage points to 7.8%.

Britain’s fastest growing grocer overall was Ocado, with sales rising by 12.5%.  The online retailer has now been the fastest grower since June 2019.

Sales at Sainsbury’s fell by 0.7%, although its market share held relatively firm dipping by just 0.1 percentage points to 16.0%.  Sainsbury’s online sales were a highlight however, increasing by 7% with a total 1.1 million users over the past 12 weeks.

Tesco sales were 1.5% lower, with its share down by 0.4 percentage points to 27.4%.  Asda and Morrisons also saw sales fall by 2.2% and 2.9% respectively, with their market shares also dropping.


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