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The Big 6 UK Food Retailers: How supermarkets are responding to the discounter threat

  • July 2015
  • 43 pages
  • MarketLine
Report ID: 3662178


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As Aldi leapfrogs Waitrose to become the sixth largest food retailer in the UK, this case study assesses the shift in consumer trends and industry disruptors that has led to a much more competitive food retailing environment. It examines the common actions of the six biggest non-discounters and where their strategies differ, and evaluates their efforts.

Features and benefits

* Assesses the wider economic situation which has led to a shift in UK consumer tendencies.
* Analysis of how the discounters are competing so successfully.
* Evaluation of the incumbents' responses to the discounter threat.


Since 2008 the UK food retail market has undergone an evolution in consumer choices. People have become less loyal to branding and more price elastic in their preferences. Two German discounter retailers, have managed to exploit the inertia of the incumbent retailers and appeal to new customer bases to begin to ebb away at their market share.
This has been accompanied by a shift in shopping habits; the out of town larger stores championed by the Big Four have been forsaken by consumers in favor of smaller, more convenient offerings. Online delivery has also played a role in this.
The big six have taken some explicit and tacitly similar responses to the discounter surge, and have advantages in areas beyond their business model. In response to declining sales many of the incumbents are curtailing expansion plans, lowering prices and expanding product ranges.

Your key questions answered

* Why are the supermarkets losing market share to Aldi and Lidl?
* How has the economic downturn affected UK consumers' spending habits?
* How have the supermarkets responded to Aldi and Lidl?
* What could the UK food retail market look like in the future?

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