The Hierarchy of UK Supermarkets


by Jake McMillan
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The supermarket brands here in the UK are so well developed that there is a clear hierarchy of the supermarket chains:
  • Top is quite clearly Waitrose, followed by Sainsbury’s.
  • Tescos, ASDA & Morrisons are at the same level. People do argue about which of these three are best, but essentially they are on the same level with individuals having slight preferences over the other two.
  • Iceland is on a level between the above and LiDL and ALDI as although Iceland is seen as being quite ‘pikey’ it actually does sell well known branded products. LiDL and ALDI are quite firmly bottom as they both sell very cheap foreign branded products.
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4 responses to “The Hierarchy of UK Supermarkets

  • Stephen Slominski

    Where does Marks & Sparks fit into this hierarchy – or Netto?
    I would suggest M&S are at the very top – so posh and expensive I haven’t set foot in their food hall for around 30 years.
    I think Tesco and Sainsburys are on a par – Tesco has raised their standards and Sainsburys have slipped.
    Asda is shite and full of people who weigh 20 stone+
    Lidl and Aldi similar but vastly superior to Iceland who don’t actually sell much – certainly a limited range on non food items.
    Netto is the cheapest and bottom of the barrel – strictly DSS only.

    • jakemcmillan

      Although M&S has a large food department, I would not classify it as a supermarket as such. If it was, then yes I agree it would be right at the top.

      I also agree that Tesco has improved a little and Sainsburys has slipped, but I would not put them on a par. Tesco is still perceived as ‘value’ and Sainsburys is considered more upmarket, even though it sells the same stuff, just at a higher price.

      I disagree that Iceland is below Lidl and Aldi as although its range can be limited it does sell a lot of well respected brands at really cheap prices whereas with Lidl and Aldi you really just don’t know what you are getting.

      I’m fortunate to say I have never ever been into a Netto.

  • Isak Swahn

    ASDA and Tesco also sell a lot of non-food stuff, so selling other items shouldn’t disqualify M&S from the hierarchy.

    Eating the freshly baked bread you can buy at the M&S food hall is an experience compared to trying to pick the least disgusting bread in even the mid-range of this spectrum. 😀

    Having said that, we could just as well throw in Harrod’s food hall on the very top. After all, what’s the difference between ASDA and Harrod’s except the art products cost £2.99 in one and £2999 in the other? 😉

    • Laland

      It’s not what you sell, it’s your MAIN purpouse as store. Tesco sells videogames and DVD’s. Does it make it an Entertainment store? ASDA sells George clothing, so does it make it Primark? I don’t think so. Having said so, I would not clasiffy M&S as supermarket.

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