Boom for Aldi and Lidl as 50% of shoppers visit cut-price superstores

British shoppers are visiting budget supermarkets more frequently than ever. For the first time, more than half of UK shoppers visited cut-price stores Aldi and Lidl in the last three months.

The trend will put extra pressure on larger retailers as shoppers choose to spend less.

Sales at Aldi were up by 30.7% in the 12 weeks to 8 December, while Lidl recorded a 15.5% rise, according to figures from retail specialist Kantar.

Aldi now boasts a record 4% share of Britain’s grocery market and at current growth rates is set to soon overtake Waitrose, which has a current market share of 4.7%.

Shares in the UK’s largest supermarkets all fell yesterday as investors acknowledged the headway rivals are making into the sector, while an anticipated poor performance over Christmas also weighed on the sector.

Sainsbury’s was down by 4.2%, Morrison’s by 2.9% and Tesco lost 2%.

Kantar director Chris Longbottom said that despite the value supermarkets gaining ground during the bleak economic landscape, Aldi and Lidl could become permanent fixtures as shoppers realign their loyalties.

“At the moment there seems to be nothing stopping their growing,” he said.

“The recession doesn’t make an enormous difference to exactly how much we spend on every day essentials, so it may be that they are here to stay.”

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