Dunnes Stores has been ranked as the largest supermarket chain in Ireland with a total market share of 22.7 percent, closely followed by SuperValu with a total market share of 22.5 percent. However, the recent figures from market analysts Kantar Worldpanel found that the total retail sales in the 12 weeks to January 29 have been lethargic with a drop of 3.0 percent down from 4.6 percent during the previous month.

According to David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel: “Dunnes Stores has returned to first place, capturing 22.7% share – only the second time it has managed to reach the top, having first held this position in November last year.  This will be welcome news for the retailer but there should be some concern that its sales growth has dipped to 3.6% – the lowest level seen in more than a year.”

This has led to fierce price competition between supermarket chains with grocery prices only 0.7 percent higher than last year. According to industry experts consumers could benefit from the supermarket price wars as each of the grocery chains wants to keep price inflation low.

When compared to the prices they were this time last year, an average consumer only has to pay an extra 17c per shopping at supermarkets. Major retailers Dunnes, SuperValu and Tesco are separated by just 0.3 percentage points in the market share table, which intensifies the price war.

German discounters like Aldi and Lidl are another major factor that is making the difference in the Irish retail segment. Both these discounters’ accounts for a total of 20.9 percentage market share in Irish retail industry with Lidl luring in three quarters of shoppers during the period under review. Lidl has a market share of 10.3 percent with a sales hike of 2.8 percent. Aldi has a market share of 10.6 percent.

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