The UK public spend a lot of money each year. We are talking billions and billions of pounds, just in supermarkets alone. I thought it would be good to show my readers just how much consumers spend on the Top 10 shops in the UK. This will include both online and Brick & Mortar stores. The data I have is from Retail Economics, and is ranked by spend by consumers. I shall start at Number 10 and work my way up, or down, to number 1. See how many you can guess before you read, and comment at the bottom. This should be fairly easy!
Lets have a look at the Top 10
It won’t come as a surprise to see one of our old High Street favourites at number 10. Boots has been on our High Streets it feels for ever. The Healthy & Beauty retailer first opened its doors in 1849, by the founder John Boot. They boast 56,000 employees in the UK across its 2,500 stores and warehouses. Whilst the company is now American, being bought out by Walgreens in 2012, it is still a very British affair. The retail giant reporting sales of £6.8 Billion in the tax year.
We all expected our friends at Amazon to be in the Top 10, but personally I was surprised to see them so low down. Whilst it is true that in America approx 50% of the ecommerce market is owned by Amazon. We are a little more reserved in the UK, with around 29% of the market share going to Amazon. This is of all online sales, with Amazon having no physical stores in the UK. This is set to change, with the worlds largest retailer looking to launch “Amazon Go” in the very near future. £8.8bn in the UK alone, sees Amazon in at Number 9. Hard to believe the company was launched in 1994!
This is one that I think we have all grown up with and used at some point. The Co-Operative or Co-Op as its more commonly known is in most towns and villages up and down the UK. There are around 4,500 stores, and account for a staggering £9.5bn of spend last year. The Co-Operative group was introduced in 1968, and has been through some difficult times, but it is now part of every day life for most of us. Even if it is just for a loaf of bread or some milk.
Marks & Spencer was started in 1884 by Sir Michael Marks & Thomas Spencer. The company has 979 stores in the UK including 615 that sell food products only. This is another retailer that has fell into hard times recently, and they are set to close 100 stores in the next few years. Whilst Marks & Spencer continue to lose market share, they are still in at number 7 with £9.6bn of sales.
With 10,000 stores in 20 countries, Aldi is next on our list, although I must add that the £10bn stated is in UK sales only. Aldi continues to grow market share, stealing shoppers form the larger supermarkets with their lower price points. Every day low prices (EDLP) is an area that most none premium brands are fighting for market share in, and Aldi is no exception. Aldi was formed in Germany in 1946, and opened its first store in the UK in 1990 in Stetchford, Birmingham. Its not all growth though for Aldi, as despite investing an estimated £1bn into the Greek market, Greek consumers just didn’t buy into the brand, resulting in a pull out by the end of 2010.
Another firm favourite with British consumers is John Lewis. Admittedly I have never ever been into a store, as I I’ve in an area of the country that John Lewis just hasn’t entered. I have been in Waitrose however that is part of the same group, and also used Fetch which is one of their spin off stores for pet supplies. Founded in 1929 by John Spedan Lewis on the world famous Oxford Street in London, the company has grown from strength to strength. In at number 5 with £10.2bn in reported sales.
In at number 4 we have the first of our big 4. The big 4 being the supermarkets. We know how the rest of the countdown goes, but not exactly in which order. Morrisons is in at number 4 with £17.3b in sales last tax year. Established in 1899 by William Morrison in Bradford, West Yorkshire, the store grew rapidly with its purchase of Safeways in March 2004. This was a surprise take-over with Morrisons being a much smaller chain. It was a great move by them to buy out the US brand American Safeway Inc.
Our next big 4 in at number 3 is ASDA. The company is now owned by American firm Walmart, and after a rebranding to the Walmart logo caused a loss of customers a few years back, the company quickly rebranded again. Walmart are set to sell ASDA to larger supermarket Sainsburys in the near future, to concentrate its efforts in the US against stiff competition from Amazon. Sorry you want the history don’t you? Formed in 1949 by Peter and Fred Asquith and Sir Noel Stockdale, ASDA became ASDA when the Asquith’s merged with The Associated Dairies company of Yorkshire.
I’m going to continue the history lesson now with Sainsbury’s who are in at number 2. John James Sainsbury founded J. Sainsbury’s as it were back in 1869. The headquarters is actually still in London in Holborn. Sainsbury’s did go through some rough times, but bounced back with price cuts and by opening more stores. There are now around 1,450 Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the UK. They knocked ASDA out of the second place back in 2014, and have stayed there since. Sainsbury’s have three companies in their portfolio. Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, Sainsbury’s Bank and of cause the more recent acquisition of Sainsbury’s Argos just known to most as Argos.
And now we come to our number 1, and if you don’t know this by now… I’m Speechless! Tesco are in at number 1. The giant has seen some issues with a drop in sales in recent years, but are so far ahead, its not going to affect them anytime soon. Founded by John Cohen in 1919, Tesco has gone from small war-surplus grocer on Hackney market, to what you see today. So we have the story of the other names, where does the name Tesco come from? Well The CO part is simply Cohen’s surname. And for the TES part of the name? This was actually the name of the person that sold Cohen stock in 1924. Thomas Edward Stockwell sold Cohen a shipment of Tea, which Cohen relabelled as TESCO Tea by adding his initials. Tesco was born!
No doubt these brands will switch and turn in the coming years, with more stiff competition and online shopping becoming more and more popular. As it stands for now though, this is your current top 10 in the UK.