Irish shoppers are flocking back to Tesco in the run-up to Christmas

But Dunnes Stores remains the most popular supermarket in the country.

By Paul O'Donoghue Reporter, Fora

TESCO IRELAND HAS reported a strong boost in sales ahead in the period leading up to Christmas, new statistics show.

The company’s value sales rose by almost 5% in the 12 weeks ending 3 December, according to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

The study from Kantar, an international agency that provides information on consumer brands, shows that Dunnes Stores remains Ireland’s largest supermarket in the run up to the festive period.

It controls 22.5% of the Irish grocery market, with sales up by 2.4% during the period.

Tesco was in second place with a 22.3% share, however it recorded the strongest sales growth of any company polled. Its value sales jumped by 4.7% during the period.

Supervalu was in third with 22.2%, marginally behind Tesco. The two German discount chains, Aldi and Lidl, were tied, with the two controlling exactly 11.2% of the market each.

The figures show something of a turnaround for Tesco. It was long the biggest company in the Irish grocery market, but last year it was leapfrogged by both Supervalu and Dunnes and was suffering from declining sales.

Growth

The company also faced numerous difficulties in 2017, including a major strike at the start of the year.

However, it has turned its fortunes around in Ireland. The latest Kantar figures show that Tesco Ireland’s sales have grown by more than 4% for four months in a row.

Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry said: “Tesco has continued its strong run of form as we approach the peak Christmas shopping season, with consumers visiting the store more frequently and buying more items every time they shop.

“This strong growth has translated into increased market share, and the supermarket now holds a 22.3% share of the market.”

He added: “Despite Tesco’s success there are only 0.3 percentage points separating the top three supermarkets – with the festive shopping period well and truly underway any of these retailers could secure the top spot at Christmas.”

Kantar also noted that shoppers are stocking up on festive treats.

“Christmas pudding and mince pie sales are soaring – up 12.6% and 2.5% respectively on this time last year,” it said.

“Wine sales are also up by 8%, giving the market an extra holiday boost worth €9 million.”

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