Discounters saw exceptional rises in current value sales during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, delivering the largest gains amongst grocery retailers. The number of outlets and the sales area also continued to increase, although at much slower rates than value sales.
Discounters used to be one retail channel in which e-commerce did not have a presence. However, the discounters Aldi and Penny Market have also now joined the list of store-based retailers offering the option of online ordering and home delivery.
Outlet openings continued in discounters in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite not accounting for the highest value sales, Penny Market has by far the largest number of outlets, at 226 in 2021, but only saw three new outlet openings between 2019 and 2021.
Discounters is set to maintain dynamic but slowing current value growth in the forecast period, partly due to the continued growth in outlet numbers. Growth is partly expected to be driven by discounters breaking away from the perception of hard discounters with a focus only on the most essential groceries.
Modern grocery retailers, and particularly discounters and hypermarkets, are often accused in the media, and by certain politicians, of keeping the proportion of domestically sourced food products low – often comparing them with their counterparts in foreign markets. However, the share of products from Hungarian manufacturers on shelves keeps growing, and is expected to grow further in the forecast period as discounters team up with more local suppliers.
All sales in discounters are accounted for by Lidl, Penny Market and Aldi, and this is expected to remain a three-player channel in the forecast period. The current operators have nationwide coverage, with further outlet openings in their plans – as long as regulation allows.
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Discounters are chained retail outlets typically with a selling space of between 400 and 2,500 square metres. Stores have a primary focus on selling a limited range of foods, beverages, tobacco and non-groceries at budget prices, regularly via private label. Discounters can be classified as hard discounters and soft discounters. Hard discounters, first introduced by Aldi in Germany, are also known as limited-line discounters. Stores are typically 400-900 square metres and stock fewer than 1,000 product lines, largely in packaged groceries. Product range available is predominantly made up of private-label brands. Soft discounters are usually slightly larger than hard discounters, and are also known as extended-range discounters. Stores typically stock 1,000-4,000 product lines. As well as private-label and budget brands, stores commonly carry leading brands at discounted prices. Example brands include Aldi, Lidl, and Dia.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Discounters research and analysis database.
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