There is no stopping Aldi – or fellow discounter Lidl. Sales in Aldi grew by 36% in the last twelve weeks, and those in Lidl by 20%. And this in a market which grew by just 1.9%, the lowest level for 11 years (Kantar Worldpanel).
We know that shoppers like the discounters’ low prices, but they also like the way they price.
To get value in the “big 4” supermarkets shoppers have to buy what’s on promotion. Often the products on offer are not the ones that they want, or the offer is not in a form that they want. Multi buys like buy 3 get one free, or get the second half price are particularly disliked by shoppers. Fine if the product in question is not perishable and likely to end up in the bin, or if it is something that is regularly bought, but too often that is not the case.
Kantar tells us that 45% of all sales made by the major supermarkets come from promotional offers, up from around 40%. Compare that with Aldi where just 3% of sales are on promotion.
So there is the draw for Aldi customers. Having worked out which products they like they can shop with confidence knowing that the price will be the same day in and day out. Contrast that with other grocers where prices can be hiked for a while just to be able to drop them later, and shoppers are never sure what might be available on promotion on a particular day.
Morrisons, Asda, and Tesco have cottoned on to this, and permanently (they claim) lowered prices.
While price is the main reason to go to discounters, the IGD has done some research on what other aspects shoppers find attractive. Some are surprised by the quality, some like the speed and ease of shopping, and the reduced range, others enjoy finding continental brands that are not available elsewhere. As the IGD says, discounters are moving mainstream. 51% of people have shopped in one in the last month, compared with 41% two years ago and 12% are saying that their main store is a discounter, up from 5%. Hence the worry among traditional grocers and the change in pricing strategy.