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UK – Lidl report 17.9% increase in December sales

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LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The British arm of German discount supermarket Lidl said sales had increased by 17.9% in the four weeks to Dec. 27, driven by customers buying more goods in store and switching away from rivals.

Lidl said its performance meant it was the fastest growing retailer versus the big 4 supermarket chains Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons, and other competitors.

Britain’s supermarkets saw the busiest December ever as the closure of restaurants, bars and cafés due to COVID-19 restrictions meant shoppers spent 11.7 billion pounds on groceries, according to market researcher Kantar.

Lidl said its average basket size increased by 24.8% year-on-year, boosted by demand for festive products such as mince pies.

The retailer said it was investing 1.3 billion pounds ($1.78 billion) to increase stores numbers to 1,000 by 2023.

($1 = 0.7309 pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton and Paul Sandle, editing by Sarah Young and Estelle Shirbon)

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