Lidl tops Waitrose as shoppers hunt bargains


Lidl has overtaken Waitrose to become Britain’s seventh largest supermarket in the latest sign of belt-tightening shoppers turning to discounters.

The German-owned business grew sales by 18.9% in the 12 weeks to 13 August, taking its market share to 5.2%, according to industry data from Kantar Worldpanel.

That puts it ahead of upmarket Waitrose, at 5.1%, and comes as a separate report from Nielsen suggested squeezed consumers were cutting back on grocery spending to save money.

Waitrose had already fallen behind Lidl’s low-cost rival Aldi – which is now the fifth biggest chain.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons still lead the way but the combined share of the “big four” has now slipped below 70%, down from more than 76% five years ago.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retailer and consumer insight at Kantar, said Lidl was growing sales much faster among families than from households without children.

“Families tend to buy more items each time they shop, so strong growth with this demographic has helped Lidl to increase its average basket size year on year,” he said.

Kantar said ten million households shopped at Lidl during the 12-week period, with alcohol and fresh produce performing particularly well.

Overall supermarket sales were up 4% year-on-year though ice cream sales slipped 9% and burgers slumped by 25% thanks to the disappointing summer weather.

Meanwhile, shoppers saw a further squeeze from higher prices, with grocery inflation ticking up to 3.3%, compared to 3.2% the month before.

Separate data from Nielsen, covering a shorter, four-week period to 12 August, showed supermarket sales growth slowing to 2.5%, compared to 5.1% the month before.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: “The return of inflation and rising concerns about the economy mean the weekly grocery shop is now the most popular target for people to cut down on grocery expenses.

“Thirty percent of Britons now admit to buying cheaper grocery brands to save money.”

Here are the top ten UK grocery retailers by market share, as reported by Kantar:

Tesco 27.8%

Sainsbury’s 15.8%

Asda 15.3%

Morrisons 10.4%

Aldi 7%

Co-op 6.3%

Lidl 5.2%

Waitrose 5.1%

Iceland 2.1%

Ocado 1.4%