Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

German Discounters’ Share of U.K. Grocery Spending Nears 10%

Sales growth at Aldi and Lidl accelerated over the last three months, with almost 10 pence in every pound spent in U.K. supermarkets now going through the tills of the German discounters.

Aldi’s sales rose 18 percent and Lidl’s 13 percent in the 12 weeks ended Aug. 16, researcher Kantar Worldpanel said in its monthly report Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Asda was the biggest loser, with a 2.5 percent drop in revenue.

The defection of shoppers toward the discounters has led to more than a year of falling grocery prices in the U.K. as bigger supermarkets have fought to retain customers. At a press conference last week, Asda Chief Executive Officer Andy Clarke said the grocer’s sales had hit their nadir and that he saw some evidence of “green shoots” of recovery.

Sales at Tesco Plc dropped 0.9 percent from a year earlier in the 12 weeks, with lower revenue in larger stores offsetting “buoyant” growth in convenience stores and online, Kantar said. J Sainsbury Plc was the best performer of the U.K.’s largest supermarket operators, with sales growing 0.1 percent.

In addition to the discounters, U.K. supermarkets also lost sales to upscale grocer Waitrose. A promotion that allowed Waitrose customers to pick 10 products on which to receive a 20 percent discount helped its sales rise 3.7 percent, Kantar said.

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