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Discounters Set To Open Five Times More New Stores Than The Big Four

| International retailers

The rise of discounters looks to continue unabated following the release of figures that show Lidl and Aldi are planning to open significantly more stores than Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons combined over the next few years.

Data compiled by Barbour ABI for the Sunday Telegraph shows that the two discounters have submitted a total of 171 planning applications (93 by Aldi, 78 by Lidl), five times as many as the Big Four supermarkets, which between them have submitted just 29 applications. 


Recent industry data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that Aldi and Lidl currently have a combined 9.9% share of the grocery sector, a figure that is expected to climb to 15%. 

Speaking to the Telegraph, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “This data further confirms the changing dynamics within the food retail market in the UK. 

"Only five years ago these figures would have been dominated by the Big Four but Aldi and Lidl are now the major players in the construction of new food retail space. Of course, the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s still hold the greater market share, but their position of power continues to be challenged by the expansion plans of the discount stores.” 

Whilst the Big 4 have all been curtailing their development plans to focus on restoring growth in their existing stores, the discounters have been outlining ambitious expansion plans. Only last week, Lidl announced that it will spend £1.5bn over the next three years expanding and upgrading its store portfolio. It is now looking to open 40-50 new outlets a year in the UK, up from a previous target of 30-40. It also plans to refurbish around 150 of its existing 629 sites to a new “Lidl of the future” concept to meet the needs of the modern shopper. 

NAM Implications:

  • Absolute numbers of stores, yes
  • But think what it is saying about the permanence of UK trade restructuring, medium and long term, as the mults gradually release more redundant ‘big space’ onto the property market
  • Meanwhile, short term, the mults will welcome in-store theatre initiatives, like never before… 

 

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