SuperValu takes over from Tesco as top shop
SuperValu has toppled Tesco as Ireland's biggest grocery retailer.
The dramatic change on the retail podium brings to an end years of dominance by Tesco in Ireland.
It first entered the Irish market in 1997 when it bought the Quinnsworth chain.
New figures from research group Kantar Worldpanel show that SuperValu, which is controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group, now controls 24.9pc of Ireland's multi-billion euro grocery market.
That compares to the 24.7pc controlled by Tesco which has been battling an intensely competitive environment here and in the UK.
In Ireland, the market has proved hugely challenging for the group as the appeal of German chains Lidl and Aldi grows.
"One of the key rules in driving sales growth is that you need to broaden your appeal to attract new consumers to your brand," said Kantar director David Berry.
"SuperValu has consistently achieved this with eighteen consecutive periods of footfall growth, increasing its shopper numbers by 63,000," he added.
"Undoubtedly one of the key milestones in helping SuperValu move to the top of the pile was the acquisition of Superquinn in July 2011.
"Rebranding the 24 Superquinn stores under the SuperValu banner in February 2014 led to an immediate jump in market share from 20pc to 25.1pc."
Martin Kelleher, SuperValu managing director, said it was "nice" to be recognised as the largest grocery retailer in the market.
"We have achieved this by focusing on three key areas - providing the best-quality Irish food to our customers; offering unrivalled expertise through our people like our butchers and bakers; and supporting communities across the country through a variety of charitable causes - initiatives like TidyTowns - as well as putting money back into the local economy due to our independent retail model," he said.