FT series - Archived

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Empty aisles

The FT investigates the pressures facing the global supermarket business, as a shift to discount rivals and local stores forces big chains to refocus. Observers say the transformation of the food retail industry is the biggest since the advent of the supermarket

Food outlet boom pressures supermarkets

11/07/14. FT - SAINT SUGAR BAKERY. ENZO MOSCHETTA, OWNER OF SAINT SUGAR BAKERY PHOTOGRAPHED IN GREENWICH MARKET, SOUTH-EAST LONDON WHERE HE HOLDS A STALL. CREDIT: DANIEL LYNCH. 07941 594 556. www.lynchpix.co.uk
©Daniel Lynch

Convenience drives growth, making sector close to ‘recession proof’

Timeline

Timeline
From Piggly Wiggly in Memphis in 1916 to Walmart’s dominance through to the big European retailers, take a look back at the industry’s history

Aldi and Lidl lead discounter charge

Customers let go of their fear of ‘being seen’ downmarket

Aldi and Lidl UK sales surge

Chains’ combined turnover could match Wm Morrison’s in 2015

Wheels coming off the supermarket trolley

Shift to discounters and small stores leads to refocusing

Supermarkets downsize for convenience

Race for space adapts to changing shopping habits