5. Retail wars
2014 will certainly go down as something of watershed in the annals of the UK retail grocery market, but the ‘phoney war’ is now over as real battle lines are drawn.
Military metaphors were in abundance as market pundits made their predictions for the retail grocery market in 2015:
• Marketing Magazine
• Marketing Week
Retailer shares for quarter ending January 2015
The latest quarterly data from Kantar Worldpanel , including the Christmas trading period, showed that the discounters, Aldi and Lidl, continue to dramatically outperform their larger rivals in a virtually static grocery market, as they have done throughout 2014. At the top end, Waitrose continue to perform strongly despite the difficult market conditions.
Some recent news from some of the big names in the UK retail grocery sector included:
• Aldi to add 70 stores and 4,500 staff in 2015
• Asda to adopt Walmart ‘sunshine’ logo in bid to reverse sales drop
• Iceland launch new campaign to promote new speciality meat and fish range
• Lidl – successful marketing initiatives continue to win plaudits
• Morrisons cut price of ‘staples’ to match Aldi and Lidl
• Poundland to increase estate to 800 stores with acquisition of '99p Stores'
• Sainsbury to lose 500 ‘store support’ roles within rationalization programme
• Tesco – rumours of 10,000 job losses, closure of Cheshunt HO and 43 stores
• Waitrose came top in the ‘Which?’ 2014 Supermarket Survey
Despite the much publicised woes of many of the major retail brands, the large supermarket chains performed strongly in a recent survey, by online insurers, GoCompare. The results were based on customer perceptions of ‘trusted providers’ and the supermarkets came in third place, behind large ‘online’ and ‘clothing’ retailers. They came ahead of other providers such as building societies, broadband providers and banks – with energy providers and payday lenders filling the two bottom places in the GC league table.