SuperValu maintains position as Ireland’s most convenient supermarket

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  • For a third of population, SuperValu remains the closest
  • Lidl is the next best in terms of convenience, followed by Aldi, Tesco and Dunnes Stores
  • 78% of the population are within ten minutes of their nearest supermarket
  • Mean drive time to a supermarket is six minutes
  • 54% of Dubliners have a supermarket within a 15-minute walk

Gamma, the location intelligence services provider, has revealed that SuperValu continues to be the most convenient supermarket in Ireland. For a third of the Irish population (33%), SuperValu is their closest supermarket – based on drive time. This position has increased by one percentage point in five years, based off similar research carried out in 2018.

Lidl is the second most convenient supermarket in the country, being the closest for 15% of the entire population, a drop of 2% from 2018, while Aldi has grown from 10% to 14% in that timeframe. Tesco has increased its coverage from 10% to 12%, while Dunnes Stores is now the least convenient of the “Big Five”, with only 11% of the population closer to Dunnes Stores than any other brand.

The research by Gamma’s Location Labs found that most consumers do have choice as 66% of the population actually have three different supermarket chains within ten minutes by car. Overall, supermarket coverage within Ireland is generally good with 78% of the population within ten minutes of their nearest supermarket and the mean drive to a supermarket coming in at six minutes.

However, not all brands are equally convenient across the country. In Kilkenny and Clare, Aldi leads the convenience table as the closest supermarket to the biggest proportion of the county’s population. Lidl takes the top spot in Donegal, Kildare, Limerick and Offaly with 29% of the population closer to this brand compared to others, while Tesco leads in Waterford.

For shoppers who prefer to leave the car at home, the research found that 33% of Ireland’s population live within a 15-minute walk of a supermarket. On the other hand, some 31% would take more than an hour getting to one.*

Dublin was the most pedestrian-friendly county, with 54% of people living within a 15-minute walk to a supermarket. Kildare and Wicklow were next, with a median walk time of 21 and 22 minutes respectively. For those in Kerry, Tipperary, Monaghan, Offaly, Mayo, Wexford, Cavan, Roscommon, and Donegal, the median walk time to the nearest supermarket is more than an hour. Shoppers in Leitrim face a median walk time of more than two hours.

Again, SuperValu came out as the best brand for being pedestrian-friendly due to it having an outlet within 15 minutes’ walk of 13% of the entire population. Of the Big Five, Dunnes Stores was found to be the least convenient for walkers with only 8% of people within this distance of one of their outlets.

Of course, this doesn’t factor in the proximity of local convenience stores for people, with Gamma’s analysis showing that more than a third (39%) of Ireland’s population has a convenience store within a 10-minute walk.

Charlotte Cuffe, Senior Consultant with Gamma, says: “While the pandemic brought about significant change in the grocery sector, with an increase in the amount of people using delivery or click and collect services, it also cemented the importance of store location for people. In fact, convenience is one of the most influential factors when it comes to consumers deciding where to get their groceries, therefore it can potentially determine whether or not a store is successful.

“While shoppers might be willing to travel further for certain items or for specific reasons, such as value or quality, they are most likely to go to one of their closest supermarkets. In turn, retailers can utilise these behaviours and insights to identify the best locations for their stores and make better business decisions.”

@ 2023 by Monika Ghita

About Gamma 

Gamma Location Labs is a cloud hosted spatial solutions provider that integrates software, data and services to help our clients reduce risk through location intelligence consultancy and software. Established in Dublin, Ireland in 1993, and with offices in Manchester, UK and Bilbao, Spain, the company has expanded to become a global provider of innovative, cloud-hosted location intelligence solutions.

*Assuming the average person walks at 5kph

About the model
  • These findings are based on an analysis of the population distribution, road network, and supermarket locations.
  • Population distribution is estimated using 2022 census of population and residential address counts from the ECAD (Eircode address database).
  • This analysis utilises preliminary headcount figures from the 2022 census. This analysis can be updated once the full population data is released, expected in October 2023.
  • We look at census small areas, which are subdivisions of counties and contain about 100 households each.
  • For each small area, we identify the closest supermarkets by off-peak drive time.
  • The most convenient supermarket brand in a county is the one that is the closest option for the largest number of people in that county.
  • For analysis of walk time, we consider road distance and assume an average walking speed of 5km/h.
  • For the purposes of this analysis, supermarket brands considered are Aldi, Costcutter, Dunnes Stores, Eurospar, Iceland, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, SuperValu, Tesco and Independent Supermarkets.
  • The “Big Five” brands are considered to be Aldi, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Supervalu and Tesco.