Price war ensues in UK between local and foreign-owned stores

Global Business

The bosses of Britain’s beleaguered superstores are waiting nervously this week for returns on what they hope will be a Christmas shopping bonanza. They hope big sales will combat growing German-owned chains in the U.K. such as Lidl and Aldi, that have affected sales, profits and market share of the British retail giants. CCTV’s Richard Bestic reported this story from the London.

Price war ensues in UK between local and foreign-owned stores

The bosses of Britain's beleaguered superstores are waiting nervously this week for returns on what they hope will be a Christmas shopping bonanza. They hope big sales will combat growing German-owned chains in the U.K. such as Lidl and Aldi, that have affected sales, profits and market share of the British retail giants. CCTV's Richard Bestic reports from the London.

As the Christmas ad for the UK supermarket giant Sainsbury inadvertently illustrates, the big guns have been rolled out in an unprecedented price war among stores. The UK’s biggest player, Tesco, has also invested heavily on Christmas sales.

“The pressure on Britain’s big four from discount stores like Lidl here and Aldi stealing a march in a retail blitzkrieg, hitting profits and share prices,” Allyson Stewart-Allen of International Marketing Partners said.

A study by the market research firm Mintel found that German stores became even more popular as the Irish Republic emerges out of recession, and the fact that Lidl and Aldi are cheaper is only one reason for their rise.

For shoppers, of course, store wars are great. Grocery store prices have begun to tumble in the U.K. for the first time in decades. However, such a seismic shift in shopping habits may prompt talk of store closures and job losses.