UK supermarkets among European elite
The UK’s four largest supermarkets are among the 20 largest retailers in Europe, according to a new Kantar Retail study. In part, the success of Tesco, which is in second place in the new European rankings, Sainsbury’s (in tenth place), and Asda Walmart (11th) is down to their multichannel strength. Lagging behind is Morrisons (in 14th place), which has yet to launch its online grocery service but is expected to do so early next year.
But, while Tesco’s UK £1bn turnaround programme, which includes a focus on online, convenience shopping and refurbished stores, is seen as boosting Tesco’s recovery in this country, Kantar says that it must also “focus on its price, quality and service in other parts of Europe if it is to continue to compete on the European and global stage” and retain number two place in Europe, which it currently predicts that it will. Kantar says that Tesco is currently struggling with consumer confidence in central and Eastern Europe and that could have an impact.
Elsewhere it predicts that by 2018 Amazon will be the second largest global retailer. In Europe, it currently places the pureplay in 23rd place, with estimated European sales of £17.5bn but predicts these will grow to £40.7bn by 2018, putting it into ninth place. Himanshu Pal, Kantar Retail’s Director for Retail Insights, said: “This top 20 European ranking shows real opportunity for UK retailers if they continue to invest in the right areas. For example, there are already visible signs of improvements in Tesco stores with regards to quality and service, which are likely to get better with the integration of Euphorium Bakery, Harris + Hoole cafes and Giraffe restaurants.
“But to regain its dominant position on the global, as well as the European retailing landscape, Tesco will have to ensure that all its markets deliver growth.”
Both Kantar’s current estimated European sales figures for the top 20 retailers, and predictions for five years hence can be seen in chart below.