The Largest Supermarket Chains In The United Kingdom

A Tesco location in Bathgate, Scotland. Editorial credit: Tana888 /
A Tesco location in Bathgate, Scotland. Editorial credit: Tana888 /

Supermarkets are a one-stop shop for most major products of our everyday use. Supermarket chains thrive in most of the developed countries of the world and are also gaining popularity in the developing countries. Supermarkets of a country are often ranked on the basis of their share in the supermarket sector. The biggest supermarkets in the UK are as follows:

1. Tesco

Founded by Jack Cohen in 1919, Tesco is the biggest supermarket chain in the UK by market share. It accounts for 27.8% of the market share of supermarket chains operating in the country. Tesco is a British multinational company that sells grocery and general merchandise. The company’s headquarters are located in Hertfordshire. Tesco has stores in 12 countries across Europe and Asia. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

2. Sainsbury's

The second largest supermarket chain in the UK is the Sainsbury’s. The company has a 15.8% share of the country’s supermarket sector. Sainsbury’s is an old company that was founded in 1869 as a shop in London by John James Sainsbury. It soon became very popular in the country and by 1922, it became the country’s biggest grocery retailer. However, in 1995, Tesco replaced Sainsbury’s as the market leader. The company was further pushed down to the third position in 2003 by losing the second position to Asda. However, in 2014, Sainsbury's recovered its rank in the second place by replacing Asda. The headquarters of the group is located in London.

3. Asda Stores Ltd.

Founded in 1965, Asda is a relatively recent company as compared to Tesco and Sainsbury’s. However, it has been quick to attain success and become the third biggest supermarket chain in the UK by market share. As of 2017, Asda is giving tough competition to

Sainsbury’s with a market share of 15.3% which is just 0.5% lower than the market share value of Sainsbury’s. The headquarters of Asda is located in Leeds of West Yorkshire.

4. Morrisons

The fourth biggest supermarket chain in the UK, Morrisons has a 10.4% share in the country’s supermarket sector. The headquarters of this company is based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. It was established by William Morrison in the year 1899 as a simple stall selling egg and butter. Although the stores of this chain were primarily concentrated in the northern parts of England till 2004, the subsequent acquirement of Safeway by Morrison led to the large-scale presence of Morrisons in the southern part of the nation. By 2016, the chain had 498 stores distributed throughout the UK.

5. Aldi

Founded in Germany by Theo and Karl Albrecht in 1946, Aldi is the UK’s fifth biggest supermarket chain. It has a market share of 7% in the country. Aldi also has a presence in many other countries. More than 10,000 stores of this company are found in 20 countries. Aldi is actually made up of two discount supermarket chains, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd that use the common brand of Aldi.

The Largest Supermarket Chains In The United Kingdom

RankSupermarket ChainMarket share
2Sainsbury's 15.8%
3Asda 15.3%
6Co-op 6.3%

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