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France: Lidl enters the top 5 retail league

Discount Retail Chain Lidl France (owned by the German Schwarz Group) has according to a new Kantar study, gained 0.4 points of market share as retailers Aldi and Leclerc.

"I am delighted!" Biero Michel, executive director of Lidl France, does not hide his joy. According to the latest Kantar study - Worldpanel panel 2021, which covers the month of October (4 to 31), the German discounter brand saw its market share 0.4 point increase to 7.2% of total industry in France. It doubles as Carrefour Market has stagnated at around 7.1%. A result of "historic for the symbol" according to Olivier Dauvers, specialist retail. But be careful excess satisfaction, top 5 concerns only the month of October. Over the year Carrefour Market continues to race ahead by 0.5 points to Lidl.

While marking, the result was expected. "It did not fall from the chair," admits Michel Biero. Indeed the sign of fate a very positive year "with sales up 12 to 14% in 2020," says the director, "and 2021 takes the same path." Such increases would inevitably have an impact on market share.

Olivier Dauvers the result is a "historic rocking" as the two competitors (Carrefour Market and Lidl) were far in terms of market share a few years ago: "5 years ago, for example, the gap between two stores was 2.5 points!". However this catch is partly due to a "park" effect. "Lidl is expanding its current portfolio. Not so with new stores, but strongly expanding existing ones", which mathematically leads to a higher number of customers and therefore did gain market share. Conversely "Carrefour Market has reduced its fleet by 10%," illustrates Olivier Dauvers.

Auchan and Casino losers

This renewal is both the strength and weakness of the discounter. A weakness because it means that the benefits do not evolve at the same rate as sales. But a force as this park effect should impact on sales growth "for two to three years at least," according to Olivier Dauvers. Indeed, the discounter has not finished expand these stores, "between a quarter and a third still to be renovated," he explains. The latter therefore see Lidl continue to grow rapidly and make par with Carrefour Market and even exceed it, "mechanically we know that Lidl will be 10% market share in 5 or 6 years."

Another German discounter also happens to pull out of the game. Aldi sees a rise in market share equivalent to that of Lidl, although its weight in France is measured (2.7%). Here also a park effect comes into play according to Kantar: Aldi France acquired 545 stores Leader Price Casino there a year ago. An increase in market share was therefore expected. Finally the E.Leclerc Group sees a similar progression and remains undisputed market leader with 22.2% market share.

Inevitably everyone can come out as a winner. The two main losers are Auchan and Casino. For the first is explained by exposure of the sign on the large hypermarkets. A segment that has more on the rise for several years. For the second, the fall comes from the sale of shops (its discounter stores: Leader Price) to Aldi.

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