The battle of the supermarkets rumble on

For many years now the leading UK supermarkets have been battling to obtain our loyal custom. The truth of the matter is the modern-day UK shopper is more savvy and eager for a good deal than has ever been the case before. With ever increasing online facilities and the close proximity of superstores, there is plenty of reasons why the average UK shopper is prepared to hunt out the best available deal. Whereas in the past the supermarket market place was dominated by only several key places, the last decade has seen a stark increase in cheaper and therefore more customer friendly grocery providers. The likes of Lidl and Aldi are rapidly becoming a firm customer favourite and this is thanks to their no-frills approach to the cost of supermarket goods, offering quality and discount at a fraction of the cost. This in turn has forced the likes of Tesco and Asda to respond by re-thinking their approach to offering value for money. Whilst such supermarkets still dominate the largest market shares, there is no doubt that the competition within this market is getting more fierce year on year.

The increasing lack of customer loyalty means it is more difficult than ever for the leading UK supermarkets to retain a stable customer basis. Instead consumers are willing to shop around and then make purchases from the provider who offers the best deal at that specific time. This makes for a much more competitive shopping environment for customers. Specifically, this means there are not only a higher level of deals available within each and every store but the quality of the deals and offers available is much higher. Whereas in the past the deals available may have been specifically driven to draw customers into the store where further purchases would be made as a result, nowadays there is a bigger drive to offer store-wide value for money. This means a noticeable increase in ‘buy one get one free’ offers, brand matching value, own-brand price reductions as well as varying levels of loyalty based schemes. Increasingly it would seem the traditional loyalty schemes offered by the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s is not necessarily the biggest draw for customers, as illustrated by the increasing market share of those who do not offer such schemes, like Asda and Lidl.

There has recently been an interesting article in the Daily Mail, discussing how one of the top UK supermarkets has enjoyed continued growth in recent years and it’s not one of immediate names which come to mind. In fact its Morrison’s. Under new management this particular supermarket has been able to battle against the other key players to return an increase in sales for the last 4 consecutive quarters. This is very much the plan for all 4 of top UK supermarkets, with Morrison’s being the 4th. Along with Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, it has been a tough few years and a fierce battle with the new heroes Aldi and Lidl. As many of us will be aware all of these major supermarkets have been engaged in a price war for several years which has seen the likes of Aldi and Lidl chip away at the both the sales success and also the overall share which are held by the top 4 in the market.

The good news for consumers is that the offers available and value for money continues to improve. This means supermarkets are constantly aware of what their competitors have to offer and therefore aim to provide a suitable and enticing alternative. Not only is this taking place in the stores directly but also online. Online supermarket shopping is an increasingly popular resource, thanks to the ability to compare prices and then make purchases without the need to visit the shop directly. Many of the major supermarkets offer these services and what to draw back some custom which may have previously been lost to another supermarket. There are lots of different ways online supermarket shopping can save you time, money and stress thanks to their ability to remember your previous purchases, make recommendations and of course offer you discount. So, in summary the physical and online market for supermarket shopping continues to go from strength to strength as far as consumer quality for money is concerned. It will therefore be interesting to see how the market as a whole preforms in the coming years and who will be able to remain within the top of the UK suppliers in this sector.   


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Author: Internal Customer Services Agent