LONDON Jan 7 Discount grocers Aldi
and Lidl said they both enjoyed record trading at
Christmas, ratcheting up the pressure on Britain's so called
"big four" supermarkets which are struggling for sales growth.
Though the German-owned firms did not disclose sales figures
Aldi said it recorded its busiest Christmas since opening in
Britain over two decades ago, while Lidl said it had seen its
best performance to date over the festive period.
Aldi, which trades from over 500 UK stores, said record
numbers of customers visited its stores in the run-up to
"We had our busiest Christmas since opening in the UK (in
1990) and planned for this by doubling the size of our Christmas
range, increasing stock levels and offering even more exclusive
products," it said.
Lidl, which trades from 600 UK stores, said 2013 had been
its most successful year in its history.
Industry data published by Kantar Worldpanel in December
showed that more than half of Britain's households shopped in
Aldi or Lidl in the 12 weeks to Dec. 8 as Tesco,
Wal-Mart's Asda, J Sainsbury and Wm Morrison
continued to lose market share.
Kantar said Aldi grew its year-on-year sales by 30.7 percent
in the 12 week period, while Lidl's rose 15.5 percent. Together
they had a combined market share of 6 percent.
Market leader Tesco will update on the six weeks to Jan. 4
on Thursday, while Sainsbury will report third-quarter to Jan. 4
sales on Wednesday.
Tesco is forecast to report a fall in UK sales at stores
open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, of 0.5-2.5
percent, while Sainsbury's is expected to post like-for-like
sales, ex fuel but including VAT, in a range of flat to down 1
Asda said on Monday it enjoyed a good performance at
Christmas both in store and online but will not release figures
until Feb. 20. Morrisons will update on Jan. 20.