Shoppers with school children put Tesco on top
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has returned to growth in the Irish market for the first time since 2013, boosted by back-to-school shoppers.
The latest supermarket data from research group Kantar Worldpanel shows that Tesco has managed to keep its number one position as Ireland's biggest grocery retailer, fending off a continuing challenge from SuperValu.
The Kantar data shows that Tesco had a 24.8pc share of Ireland's multi-billion euro grocery market in the 12 weeks to September 13.
But while the value of Tesco's sales in the period rose 0.3pc, its share of the grocery market actually dipped 0.4 percentage points year-on-year.
SuperValu's share of the overall grocery market fell 0.4 percentage points to 24.3pc. Dunnes saw the value of its sales rise 5.2pc, while its market share rose 0.7 percentage points to 22.7pc.
"After an unprecedented period of decline, Tesco has posted growth of 0.3pc," according to Georgieann Harrington, insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.
"This is the first time sales have increased for the retailer since early 2013. Making the most of the back-to-school season, the grocer has seen its spend from families with children - a heartland for the retailer - increase by 4pc."
Kantar also said that grocery inflation in the 12 weeks to September 13 stood at 1.8pc, compared to 1.3pc in the previous period.
That means that in real terms, the value of sales at Supervalu and Tesco actually fell during the latest period.
Aldi and Lidl both posted strong gains. Lidl's share of the market rose 0.6 percentage points to 9pc, while Aldi's rose 0.2 percentage points to 8.7pc.
Ms Harrington said that shoppers are now spending nearly €50 more on average each at Dunnes Stores.
But while its volume sales rose 5pc, Dunnes has experienced a drop in shopper numbers, with about 70,000 fewer visiting its stores. Lidl, on the other hand, attracted about 40,000 more shoppers, aided by promotional campaigns.