January 11, 2019 / 9:00 AM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-Premium product demand drives Lidl UK's Christmas sales rise

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LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The British arm of German discount supermarket operator Lidl on Friday reported an 8 percent year-on-year rise in sales for the six weeks to Dec. 30 boosted by strong demand for its premium products.

Lidl also said it was committed to investing a further 1.45 billion pounds ($1.85 billion) in 2019 and 2020 in Britain where it ranks seventh among supermarkets with 730 stores.

Like discounter rival Aldi, Lidl has been opening stores aggressively which is helping it gain market share from Britain’s big four grocers - Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.

But consumers are also being attracted by the discounters’ product innovation.

On Monday Aldi said its December sales increased by around 10 percent to almost 1 billion pounds and highlighted increased demand for premium products.

Lidl UK said sales of its premium Deluxe range were up 33 percent year on year. It cited premium cooked crisps, mince pies and brioche burger buns as top sellers.

$1 = 0.7848 pounds Reporting by James Davey; editing by Paul Sandle and Jason Neely

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