The latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, published today for the 12 weeks ending 1 January 2017, reveal that shoppers spent an additional €92 million this Christmas period: 3.8% more than last year.
With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, shoppers had two extra days to tick off all the items on their Christmas shopping lists. Having the whole week to prepare meant that the average household spent €193 on the big day, €35 more than last year. Despite the extra shopping days, 55% of the population still chose to brave the supermarkets on Friday 23 December, making it the busiest day for retailers.
David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel, explains: “After a turbulent 2016, shoppers really chose to treat themselves this Christmas. Always popular over the festive period, biscuits and chocolates did even better than usual. Irish families spent 9% more on seasonal confectionery than last year, making sure they had plenty of sweet treats to keep them going over the festive period. More were in the mood for a Christmas tipple too, with alcohol experiencing double-digit growth. This was partially down to more multi-buy promotions in stores tempting shoppers to up their spend.
“As in previous years, 2016 was defined by fierce competition for the grocery market with Ireland’s three biggest supermarkets vying for the top spot all year long. With shoppers willing to fork out more over Christmas, it’s a vital time of year for grocers – an opportunity to pull away from the competition. Whether that’s via a heart-warming Christmas ad or the best premium own-label offers for the big day, we’ve seen retailers going all out to persuade the Irish public to shop with them this festive season.
“It was Supervalu that came out on top after a tussle with Dunnes Stores at the end of last year, a position the retailer has held for 10 out of the past 12 periods.”
Despite a return to second place, Dunnes Stores continued to perform well. Sales for the Christmas period were almost 5% higher than in 2015 and the average spend per trip reached a new high of €41.60, significantly ahead of any other retailer.
Tesco continued to improve its performance, with sales growing by 1.3% over the final quarter – up from the 1.2% growth the grocer saw in the 12 weeks to 4 December 2016. Premium own label was a particular bright spot for the retailer, with its Tesco Finest range experiencing strong growth over the festive period.
Elsewhere, Aldi posted the strongest growth of all Irish supermarkets with sales up by 5.3%. The retailer managed to attract 37,000 new shoppers this Christmas, boosting its market share to 10.5%. Lidl also recorded positive results, with festive sales 2.3% higher than in 2015.