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Author: Sue Spencer – Glenigan's supermarket sector expert (Twitter @Sue_Glenigan)

It has been reported that the growth of the discounters, the Lidl’s and Aldi’s, could go on for years as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s continue to lose market share. The landscape of our supermarket shopping has certainly changed, and this looks set to continue!

Over the previous 12 weeks to 21st June, according to the recent figures published by Kantar Worldpanel, Asda was the biggest loser among the so-called 'big four', with like-for-like sales declining by 3.5%. Its market share fell from a little more than 17% to 16.5%. Sainsbury's and Tesco’s saw sales fall by 1.3%, although Tesco’s remains well out in front with a market share of 28.6%. Every other brand saw sales either remain flat or increase over the 12 weeks, including Morrison’s which edged up 0.6%. In contrast, Aldi and Lidl notched up growth of 15.4% and 9.1% respectively. Aldi is now the sixth ranked supermarket in the country and above John Lewis-owned Waitrose for the first time.

The effects of the supermarket’s changing market can be seen in many towns across England. One example is in Christchurch where there had been three possible supermarket schemes progressing. Stony Lane and Bridge Street in Christchurch, the home of the Beagle Aerospace Limited, planning permission was granted on appeal in April 2015 for a new Morrison’s store, following plans being refused a number of times before (Glenigan project ID 11318704). Beagle had hoped the sale of the site to Morrison’s would enable them to move to new premises, however in June 2015 Morrison’s decided not to proceed with a store at this site.

Asda was also looking to move into the former QinetiQ site in Bailey Drive, Christchurch (Glenigan project ID 11339458). After months of uncertainty, the developers, Quantum Group are now considering their options for this site now believing that Asda do not wish to proceed with a store here. Options include submitting a revised planning application to Christchurch Borough Council for residential or commercial use, as well as a disposal of the site on the open market. To this end, the site has been put on the market for sale, through Savills, Southampton branch. Best and final offers were to be submitted to that office no later than midday on Thursday 9th July 2015.

The other possible supermarket scheme is at the Meteor Retail Park in Somerford Road, Christchurch, previously the subject of several supermarket planning applications (Glenigan project ID 07309413). The appeal for a larger store has been allowed and outline plans were granted in April 2015. No operator has yet been officially named. Brands such as Aldi, TK Maxx and Matalan have been linked with the scheme.

We are also seeing the effect of the discounter’s growth outside of the big four. The Co-operative Group has decided to focus on its convenience stores and sell many of the larger stores. In May 2015, the Co-operative announced that it was selling six larger stores. Stores in Aberdeen (Glenigan project ID 15143417), Annan (Glenigan project ID 15219151), Montrose (Glenigan project ID 15145739), Polmont (Glenigan project ID 15228291) and Whitburn (Glenigan project ID 15228290) have been sold to Aldi’s and a store at Houghton Le Spring has been sold to Lidl (Glenigan project ID 15145744).

According to new industry research from ISG, sales in traditional supermarkets will continue to fall for the next five years as the growing popularity of discount chains and online shopping continue. It will be interesting to see how the landscape changes further.

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