Retail news round-up on April 15, 2014: Aldi and Lidl increase share in Ireland, Sports Direct to sell on credit and retail sales fall in March.

Aldi and Lidl continue to increase share in Ireland’s grocery market

German retailers Aldi and Lidl have continued to increase their share of Ireland’s multi-billion euro grocery market. According to Kantar Worldpanel’s new data, German chains Aldi and Lidl now control a combined 15.4% share of the Irish multi-billion euro grocery market. In the 12 weeks to March 30, Aldi’s market share increased 21.9% to 7.9%, while Lidl’s jumped 11.1% to 7.5%, Irish Independent reported. Tesco’s position at the top further eroded, with market share in the period declining 6.6% to 26%. Supervalu’s share dipped 1.6% to 25.2%. Dunnes Stores saw its share of the market go down 3.9% to 21.9%.

Sports Direct to begin selling on credit via website

The Mike Ashley-controlled sportswear retailer Sports Direct is set to start selling on credit via its website, as it looks to emulate the model used by fashion chain Next, according to the Financial Times. The company’s chief executive Dave Forsey said it would start offering credit to customers later this year. One person close to the situation said Sports Direct was still in discussions on the detail, such as the cost of credit. Separately, Sports Direct is planning to resurrect the Republic name as one of its stable of brands.

A late Easter causes retail sales to fall 1.7% in March

Retail sales on the British high street fell for the second month running in March due to the late timing of Easter this year. According to British Retail Consortium (BRC)/KPMG monthly retail sales monitor, overall UK retail like-for-like sales declined by 1.7% against March 2013. Food sales for the three-month period to March dipped 2.7% over the year earlier. Last month, online sales surged 12.8%. Sales of items such as women’s ballet pumps and summer dresses performed particularly well. Sales of household accessories and furniture were hit due to the holidays falling in April this year rather than March.