More than five years on from the Brexit referendum, the British supermarket industry is still navigating the logistical and transport complications that this triggered. The war in Ukraine and COVID-19 have also affected supply chains and inflation rates in a way that would have seemed unthinkable a decade ago.
However, the majority of supermarkets in the UK have managed to adapt, and indeed, thrive.
Here, ESM will take a look at the top 10 British supermarkets, ranked by their most recent annual turnover.
Turnover in 2021/2022: £54.8 billion (€61.75 billion)
Tesco is at the top of the list with an annual turnover for 2021/22 that amounted to £54.8 billion (€61.75 billion).
Founded in 1919, the retailer has 367,321 employees (as of 2021) and 4,673 stores (2021). Tesco's chief executive is Ken Murphy and the retailer holds a market share of 27.5% as of February 2023.
Turnover in 2021/2022: £29.9 billion (€33.7 billion)
Sainsbury’s is in second place, reporting a turnover of £29.9 billion (€33.7 billion) in 2021/2022.
Sainsbury's chief executive is Simon Roberts and the retailer has a market share of 15.4%. It was founded in 1869 and has 189,000 employees, along with 1,400 outlets.
Turnover in 2021: £20.4 billion (€22.99 billion)
In third place, with a turnover of £20.4 billion (€22.99 billion) in 2021, is Asda. Asda was founded in 1949. The retailer operates 633 stores (as of 2021) and 145,000 employees (2022). Asda holds a market share of 14.2% as of February 2023.
Turnover in 2021/2022: £18.48 billion (€20.8 billion)
Morrisons is in fourth place, having reported a turnover of £18.48 billion (€20.8 billion) in its 2021/2022 financial year.
It has 497 stores and over 100,000 employees. Its chief executive is David Potts. Morrisons holds a market share of 9.1% as of February 2023.
Turnover in 2021/2022 £13.65 billion (€15.38 billion)
In fifth place, Aldi UK recorded revenue of £13.65 billion (€15.38 billion) in the 2021/2022 financial year.
It has 39,234 employees in the UK and 950 stores. It currently holds a market share of 9.2%, and its chief executive is Giles Hurley.
6. Marks & Spencer
Turnover in 2021/2022: £10.9 billion (€12.28 billion)
Ranking fifth, Marks & Spencer reported annual turnover of £10.9 billion (€12.28 billion) in its 2021/2022 financial year.
As of 2021, there were 1,035 Marks and Spencer stores located in the UK, and 452 other store locations situated around the world. Stuart Machin was named CEO of Marks and Spencer in May 2022.
7. The Co-operative
Turnover in 2021: £9.1 billion (€10.25 billion)
The Co-operative 's food and wholesale business reported revenue of £9.1 billion (€10.25 billion) in its 2021 financial year, putting it in seventh place in our list.
The group currently boasts 5.5% market share, and Shirine Khoury-Haq is the chief executive. Co-op has more than 2,500 local, convenience and medium-sized stores in its network.
Turnover in 2021/2022: £7.8 billion (€8.79 billion)
Lidl UK recorded annual turnover of £7.8 billion (€8.79 billion) in its 2021/22 financial year, putting it in eighth position.
The first Lidl GB store opened its doors in 1994, with the retailer now operating more than 950 stores and 13 regional distribution centres across Britain, employing over 23,000 people. It has a 7.1% market share.
9. Waitrose & Partners
Turnover in 2021/2022: £7.5 billion (€8.9 billion)
Waitrose & Partners reported sales of £7.5 billion (€8.9 billion) in its financial year 2021/22, putting it in ninth position in our list. The group is part of the John Lewis Partnership, and operates 331 stores across the UK.
Turnover in 2021/2022: £1.86 billion (€2.1 billion)
Part of the Europe-wide Pepco Group, single-price retailer Poundland rounds off our list, having reported a turnover in 2021/2022 of €2.1 billion. This was a 2.6% like-for-like revenue increase on the previous year.
As for the year ahead? The cost of living crisis will probably persist throughout most of 2023, and most UK retailers have already stepped up the range of promotions they offer to shoppers, particularly when it comes to private label.
The UK is renowned for being one of the most competitive European grocery markets – don't expect this to change any time soon.
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© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Retail news. Article by Robert McHugh. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.