Discounters hit Morrisons, Tesco and Asda ‘hardest’

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

Asda is the ‘laggard of the majors’: Shore Capital
Asda is the ‘laggard of the majors’: Shore Capital

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Morrisons, Tesco and Asda have been the “hardest hit” as rival discounters Aldi and Lidl claim a 10th of the UK market, according to data provider Nielsen.

Aldi and Lidl have clinched an 11% value share of the market on the back of soaring sales in the 12 weeks to November 7 2015, compared with the same period last year.

Value sales for Morrisons, Tesco and Asda fell over the three months compared with to 2014, although Sainsbury bucked the trend and managed to boost sales slightly.

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said the heavy price-cutting drive to combat the discounters was “increasingly problematic” ​for supermarkets.  

‘Rise of the discounters’

Sales change at a glance: Nielsen

  • Morrisons: Down 1.8%
  • Tesco: Down 1.8%
  • Asda: Down 4.7%
  • Aldi: Up 27.5%
  • Lidl: Up 21.7%
  • Sainsbury: Up 0.4%

“The rise of the discounters seems to have hit Tesco, Asda and Morrisons the hardest,” ​Watkins said.

“Their combined market share over the last year is down 2.1 percentage points, the exact figure the discounters’ has risen.”

Aldi and Lidl have managed to “pull away again” ​as strong sales momentum continues,​ according to analysts Clive Black and Darren Shirley at Shore Capital.

“For the major superstore groups, pressure also persists from the limited assortment discounters, which to our minds have ‘gone again’ in recent times with sales appreciation and so share gains accelerating,” ​they said.

‘Laggard of the majors’

Black and Shirley described Asda as the “laggard of the majors” ​and said thesupermarket was particularly impacted by the progress of the discounters.

“Morrisons and Tesco also continue to lose share, impeded not only by the lack of new space relative to the market but also store closures,”​ they said.

“Sainsbury’s continues to set the pace for the ‘big four’, outperforming its peers in underlying sales and market share and also growing faster than the market.”

Meanwhile, Kantar Worldpanel figures for the 12 weeks to November 8 2015 also showed that Aldi and Lidl have claimed a 10th of the British grocery market for the first time.

Kantar Worldpanel head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said: “If you look back as recently as 2012, Aldi and Lidl only held a 5% share of the market, and it had previously taken them nine years to double their combined share from 2.5%.”

He added: “The discounters show no sign of stopping, and with plans to open hundreds of stores between them, they’ll noticeably widen their reach to the British population.” 


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1 comment


Posted by JW,

The term discounter means nothing to a shopper. if the product quality matches the "majors" then that's all that matters. The only "discount" in all this is that many in the trade discount Aldi and Lidl - to their cost.

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