Aldi and Waitrose top list of fastest growing retailers

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

UK's top 20 fastest growing retailers

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Discounter Aldi and posh supermarket Waitrose have topped a new list of the UK’s top 20 fastest growing retailers, supplying further evidence of the increasing polarisation of the grocery market.

The results revealed value and premium brands, such as Aldi and Waitrose, thriving in a world of “extreme shoppers”​, said the firm behind the research, OC&C Strategy Consultants.

The big four retailers – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons – have increasingly found their sales squeezed by the soaring popularity of discount stores Aldi and Lidl and upmarket retailers Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

Two other firms with food and drink industry connections featuring in the hot 20 list were Poundland, in eleventh position, and Ocado in twelfth position.

The German-owned discount chain Aldi has grown revenues by an average £1.2bn per year since 2011 – achieving 38% year-on-year growth. The discounter had opened about 40 new stores in the UK every year.

40 new stores

Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership (JLP), has seen revenues grow by an average £360M – delivering a more modest 7% year-on-year growth over the same time period. OC&C attributed the growth to robust like-for-like sales performance, new store and format openings and developing its online offering.

Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants Anita Balchandani said the results showed it was possible to grow against the odds in low-growth economies by responding to key customer needs.

“Retailers are succeeding by giving customers the ability to shop on their own terms and reducing all points of friction in the shopping journey,”​ said Balchandani.

The top two


  • Average revenue growth of £1.2bn per year since 2011
  • 38% year-on-year growth
  • Opened about 40 new UK stores every year


  • Average revenue growth of £360M
  • 7% year-on-year growth 

“Smooth web experiences, the ability to shop across mobiles, tablets and desktop, or being able to choose from a range of convenient delivery or collection options, have been a great growth formula for many of the pureplay e-commerce successes like Amazon – which internationally is among the fastest growing retailers.”

‘E-commerce success’

Waitrose md and deputy chairman of JLP Mark Price attributed the retailer’s increased sales and improved market share to its investment plan.

“This growth results from the investments we're making to create Modern Waitrose: new shops, services and hospitality in existing branches, driving our online and convenience businesses, deepening relationships with customers through the myWaitrose card and, of course, staying ever-focused on fabulous products and top-notch service,”​ he said.

While the average retailer grew by 1% in the UK in the most recent sales period, the fastest growing retailers in the research have grown by about 17% during the same period.

The research – unveiled today (March 11) at the Retail Week Live conference – was based on 630 retailers with revenues of  more than £200M in 2013.

Meanwhile, read how Tesco is starting to revive​, as income and volumes begin to climb once more, according to Shore Capital.

Top 20 fastest growing UK retailers

1.     Aldi (UK & Ireland)

2.     Waitrose

3.     Sports Direct

4.     Primark

5.     Burberry

6.     John Lewis

7.     Home Bargains

8.     B&M Retail

9.     ASOS

10.   JD Sports

11.   Poundland

12.   Ocado

13.   The Range


15.   Net-a-porter

16.   Harrods

17.   Screwfix

18.   Costcutter

19.   Poundworld

20.   Dunelm Mill


Top 10 fastest growing western retailers

1.     Apple

2.     Amazon

3.     Casino

4.     Costco

5.     Aldi Group

6.     7-Eleven

7.     eBay

8.     Jumbo

9.      TJX Companies

10.   Inditex

Research covered the UK, US, France, the Nordics, Germany and the Netherlands.

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