Concern Brexit may see cross-border exodus, as shoppers spend more

All major retailers increased sales, except Tesco

Grocery market, Kantar Worldpanel, Brexit, Ireland, spending, Dunnes, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl,

Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The latest supermarket share figures show an increase in grocery sales of 2.5% due to a rise in household spending of almost €30.

But the statistics from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, for the 12 weeks to June 19th, reveal the results of the UK’s EU referendum have cast a level of uncertainty over the market, with cross-border shopping potentially set to increase.

With the exception of Tesco, all of the major retailers increased sales in the past 12 weeks.

Dunnes Stores posted the strongest performance and grew sales by 5.9%.

The retailer attracted an extra 13,000 shoppers to its stores this year, with the average spend increasing by almost €20.

Lidl posted the second highest sales growth - 5.8% - which was mainly from getting an additional 55,000 shoppers.

And Aldi sales grew by 3.6% in the latest quarter, with the discounter also recruiting 37,000 customers versus last year.

However, a combination of flat shopper numbers and only marginal increases in average spend mean Aldi continues to lag behind Lidl.

Georgieann Harrington is insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“We’ve seen the average spend per household increase by €27 this year. While higher prices have played a small part, this growth is primarily the result of an increased number of shopping trips: the average household has made 62 visits on average over the past 12 weeks, compared with 58 trips last year.”

“With the number of items per basket also falling, we’re seeing a return to the tendency to shop ‘little and often’.”

But she warns: “With the recent EU referendum result and the weakening of the pound against the euro, it could be that we see Irish shoppers return to old habits.”

“During the recession many headed across the border in search of better value at UK retailers in Northern Ireland. Cross-border shopping only accounted for 0.3% of Irish grocery sales in the latest 12 week period, but at the peak of the recession this stood at 4.1%,” she added.

Grocery market inflation stands at 2.1% for 12 weeks ending June 19th.