Dunnes Stores has increased its share of the Irish grocery market as its sales grew by 6.3% over the 12 weeks to September 11.

The supermarket chain is now tied for second position with Tesco with each retailer having 21.6% of the Irish grocery market, the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel show.

SuperValu remains the country's biggest grocer with a 22.4% share of the market. It increased sales by 3.1% in the 12 week period compared to the same time last year. 

This is the third consecutive month where growth for SuperValu has been above 3%, helped by shoppers adding more items to their baskets on average every time they shop.

Today's survey also showed that Dunnes' average spend increased by €2.50 to €37.20 in the latest quarter.

"Dunnes has successfully tempted shoppers to add more expensive items to their baskets, with the average price per item rising to €2.05 - an increase of 12% on last year," commented David Berry, director at Kantar Worldpanel. 

Tesco has seen the value of its sales fall by 2.3% but it continues to sell more items, with volume sales 1.9% higher than the same time last year, Mr Berry added.

The survey also reveals that Lidl's market share now stands at 11.7% - in line with last year - while sales increased by 4.5%.  

Kantar Worldpanel said that Lidl saw an increase in the number of repeat visits its shoppers make, with the average customer returning 11 times over the past 12 weeks compared with fewer than 10 times last year. 
 
Sales growth for Aldi also continued to improve, with its market share increasing from 11.2% last year to 11.4% in the latest 12 weeks under review. 

The overall Irish grocery markets saw sales growing by 3.7% year on year during the past 12 weeks.