A WEE DRAM
CHRIS GILMOUR: German grocers are eating the locals’ lunch
‘German discounters Aldi and Lidl are opening new stores at a brisk pace and are capturing the wallets of the UK consumer’
British supermarket retailers leave their South African counterparts in the dust. Britain is often referred to as a nation of shopkeepers; it could as easily be said it is a nation of shoppers. Like SA, consumer spending is the mainstay of the UK economy. The dynamics of the UK food retail scene have changed considerably in recent years, in no small measure due to the emergence of the aggressive German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Market share data in the UK is easily accessible, which makes comparing growth figures fairly easy. The Brits are spoilt for choice and have a veritable plethora of top-class food retailers from which to choose, and prices vary considerably between them. The same cannot be said of SA. Accurate market share data are difficult to access since Pick n Pay pulled out of AC Nielsen’s market share data exercise about a decade ago. With no meaningful new entrants on the South African food retail scene, it is safe to assume market share among the big four listed food...