News: Aldi overtakes Waitrose to become top 6th UK Supermarket

10 Apr 2015|Added Value

Overall grocery prices have fallen 2% and yet this week German discounter Aldi became the 6th biggest supermarket in the UK. With the increasing popularity of discounters it’s no shock that Aldi has risen in the ranks. Shoppers have become promiscuous and savvy in their shopping habits. Aldi have a solid business model providing a select range of goods at low cost. And consumers have not failed to recognise that they aren’t losing out on quality at these pleasing prices. Aldi have built excellent relationships with their suppliers and have extremely strict  high-quality expectations of their products. So it’s not surprising that Aldi’s sales have increased by 16.8% in the 12 weeks to 29 March (Kantar Worldpanel). With a 5.3% market share Aldi have pipped Waitrose at 5.1%.

So does Waitrose need to be worried?

Matt Woodhams, Brand Director here at Added Value, thinks not:

“People shop around, and the management at Waitrose will probably be less worried by this news than the big four of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons,  and Co op, all of whom have more to lose to Aldi than Waitrose does, and all of whom are likely to find it harder to consistently deliver growth at the rate of Waitrose. The “all things to all people” offer of the major supermarkets is as much at risk from the more polarised proposition of Waitrose as it is from Aldi, both of whom are growing by addressing the specific needs of the mainstream better than the mainstream itself.”

The statistics support this argument as Waitrose continues to grow, sales rising by 2.9% in a market that expanded by only 1%. Aldi is now hot on the heels of the Co-op, the UK’s fifth-largest supermarket, with only 1% behind in market share.

Lidl. Aldi’s discounter buddy, also experienced strong growth with a 3.7% market share from increased sales of 12.1%.  With a combined share of 9% the two German discounters need to make sure they stay focused and don’t get tempted to offer too much, falling into the trap of being “all things to all people”. They have a distinct market offer and consumers love them for this reason.


Matt’s comment was published in the following press publications:

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