Mercadona reinvents itself. The Valencian supermarket chain, which was losing market share until April last year, has now broken all records, reaching a market share of 27% in August, “an unprecedented level”, noted Bernardo Rodilla today, retail director at Kantar. during the presentation of a study on the market situation.
Shortly before the summer of last year, Mercadona had already reached a market share of 26%, but since then it began to steadily lose market share due to increased food prices. “Price has become a deciding factor and the consumer is now making smaller purchases because it is more difficult to keep track of their spending as they go to different chains,” explains Rodilla.
And the problem is, as Juan Roig, the president of Mercadona, admitted last March, “we have raised prices a lot”. Although he justified the decision by saying that “if we hadn’t done it, the catastrophe in the production chain would be impressive,” it cost him the loss of participation.
And what has the Valencian supermarket chain done? The turning point came, assures the Kantar boss, when the company announced the price reduction for a total of 500 products in April, which would bring its customers an estimated saving of more than 200 million euros by the end of the year. “Since then it has increased in shares until it reached peak levels,” he says. In fact, it was already at 26.6% in July, having gained almost two participation points in just three months.
Kantar’s forecasts therefore suggest that supermarket chains will step up the price war in the final quarter of the year with more offers and promotions than ever before. For Kantar, it’s not so much about a price war as it is about consumer perception.
Lidl is the growth leader
Mercadona and Lidl are currently leading the industry’s growth. In the first eight months of the year, the Valencian company achieved a share of 26.1%, three tenths more than a year earlier. Lidl remains in third place with a 6.5% share, but manages to gain 6 tenths, more than any other chain in the sector, and manages to partially stop the migration of customers to Mercadona.
According to Kantar, Carrefour takes second place in the ranking with a share of 9.9%, two tenths more than up to August last year, thanks mainly to the advance of its hypermarkets. Eroski is in fourth place with 4.4%, a tenth more, and Dia is in fifth place with 4.3%. The latter lost four tenths, mainly due to the sale of 224 branches to Alcampo, but, according to Rodilla, managed to make up ground in the renovated branches.