Tesco strikes hit performance

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Strikes at a number of Tesco stores in Ireland have impacted the retailer’s performance, fresh data suggests.

According to Kantar Worldpanel’s supermarket share figures, covering the 12 weeks ending 26 February 2017, Tesco sales have dropped 1% following 11 days of industrial action by staff.

Staff on strike at a Tesco in Ireland over proposed changes to their contracts.

Although the strikes affected only eight stores, Kantar Ireland director David Berry said “there was a clear impact” on the retailer’s performance, with market share falling by 0.9 percentage points to 21.7% during the period.

The union representing Tesco workers, Mandate, suspended its industrial action over proposed contract changes on February 24. The dispute will now be discussed at the Labour Court.

The data also revealed Dunnes Stores has held its position as Ireland’s largest grocer for two consecutive months.

It is the first time the retailer has retained a lead above rival SuperValu.

Mr Berry said Dunnes’ shoppers were adding more to their baskets, helping the retailer to maintain its title.

The Kantar director pointed to the grocer’s ‘Shop & Save’ initiative, which he said contributed significantly to its success. The average basket in Dunnes featured an extra one and a half items – an additional €3 per trip and €25 million for the retailer in the past 12 weeks.

Sales at Dunnes grew by 4.6% in the past three months, and the retailer increased its market share to 22.9%, up from 22.5% last year.

“SuperValu remains hot on the heels of Dunnes, with a 22.6% share of the market,” Mr Berry said. “The retailer also managed to convince shoppers to splash a little more cash. The average customer spent over €1 more per trip, causing sales to grow by 0.5% amounting to an extra €3 million for the grocer.

“With Supervalu planning to open three new stores and refurbish a host of others, the retailer will be expecting to experience a boost in sales later in the year.”

Aldi’s and Lidl’s success is continuing, according to the data, with sales rising by 5.3% and 4.1% respectively.

Over the past 12 weeks Aldi managed to attract an additional 20,000 customers into its stores, while also encouraging them to visit more frequently.

Lidl’s uplift in sales enabled the retailer to increase its share of the market to 10.6%.

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