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Spain: Mercadona and Lidl see the biggest growth among the big chains

From a retail point of view, the specialist channel continues feeding the growth of the modern retail channel, with one in every four euros spent on groceries (accounted for 26.5% of the market in 2016). The hypermarket is the only form within retail showing a fall in market share (13.3% compared to 13.6% in 2016), while “limited range” retailers (discount retailers such as Lidl, Dia and Aldi, as well as Mercadona) hold 36.2% market share, up one percentage point.

Mercadona led, in terms of growth, again in 2017 and consolidated its position as Spanish market leader with 24.1% of the market (up 1.2% on 2016). The other group that successfully capitalised on sector growth is Lidl, which increased its market share to 4.3%, up 0.2%. According to Florencio García, Iberia Retail Sector Director at Kantar Worldpanel, “Mercadona and Lidl are progressing with their store renovation programmes and aim to lead the way for new trends, to cement their position as market leader in the minds of consumers”.

Carrefour also increased its market share during the last twelve months and has consolidated its position as Spain’s second retail group (8.7%, +0.2%), still benefiting from the acquisition of Hypermarkets from the Eroski Group. This retailer lost ground in the market for this reason (5.6%, -0.3%), while the DIA Group suffered from greater competition in its more classic shop format (8.2%, -0.3%). The sixth group, Auchan, suffered from the loss of attractiveness of the hypermarket channel (3.5%, -0.1%).

Florencio García adds, “all the players, in one way or another, tried to adapt to the current landscape with new shop formats (Carrefour BIO, DIA & Go, Alcampo Súper, Caprabo Rapid, etc.), with good general acceptance from consumers, and which should be consolidated in 2018”.

The Online Channel continues its slow but steady progress (1.9% of market share without fresh foods) and, in 2017, 4.7 million households made a grocery purchase on the Internet. On average, these households devote 8% of their budget to online purchases, which means 92% of their purchases are still made in physical shops, showing that “consumers are not foregoing physical shops, which must reinvent and adapt to the multi-channel onslaught to come”. Regarding the giant of e-commerce, Amazon, 56% of shoppers from the major chains bought a product from the website in 2017.

Regional Supermarkets continue making good progress and have established themselves as an alternative for consumers who are looking for quality, fresh, local and branded products. In this climate, the buying alliances (IFA, Euromadi) take centre stage in the sector, focussing on several of these chains that had a positive end to 2017.

Lastly, private label brands grew to represent 36.4% of spend on packaged groceries, up 0.3% on 2017. However, the impact of so-called “exclusive brands”, almost exclusively available at a particular retailer, saw retailer-associated brands jump by 0.8% to 41% of expenditure.


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