Aldi and Lidl are building more stores across the UK than the traditional 'big four' supermarkets, namely, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. According to Barbour ABI, a leading provider of construction intelligence, the German discounters combined built more than 100 supermarkets during the 2015-2016 period.
This is way higher than the number of new stores built by the 'big four'. While Tesco built just four new stores during the same period, Sainsbury's started or finished construction of 10 stores while Asda has built just three stores in the same period.
Significantly, Tesco lost more selling space than it opened. In its latest annual results, Tesco revealed that overall its supermarket space had reduced. It said the net reduction was 1.2 million square feet of space, of which about 800,000 square feet was in the UK while the remaining loss was across the Republic of Ireland.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: "With Tesco closing more stores than opening in 2015 for the first time in many years, alongside the rapid opening of stores from Aldi and Lidl, the power struggle and market share within the industry looks to continue as the 'big four' now seems to be shifting to the 'big six'."
According to an industry report by trade magazine, The Grocer, Tesco shut down 43 UK supermarkets in 2015 which were non-profitable. The report states that the slowdown in Tesco's supermarket properties was dramatic when compared to the discounters.
Between 2010 and 2016, Tesco had planned to construct 63 supermarkets. However, only a meagre 6% of these had either got completed or had begun construction during the 2015-16 period. This was quite low when compared to the construction completion rate of Lidl and Aldi, according to the Daily Star.
While Lidl completed or had begun construction of half of the 70 supermarkets it had planned since 2010, Aldi had completed or had started construction of 180 supermarkets since 2010. This was almost equal to the numbers of Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco combined.