Discount supermarkets are trying to out-muscle rival supermarkets across Huddersfield - and the town’s savvy shoppers are not complaining.
New research has shown that nationally discounters such as Aldi, Lidl and Poundland grew three times as fast as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons in 2015.
The report comes as Lidl pursues plans for a new store on part of the former Huddersfield Technical College site at New North Road, Huddersfield and has received approval for a new store at Mirfield.
Earlier this year, Aldi – which has stores at Beck Road in Huddersfield and at Waterloo, Milnsbridge and Slaithwaite, announced plans for 80 new stores this year under expansion plans.
Matthew Hopkinson, director at The Local Data Company, which carried out the research, said: “This analysis of the rise and increasingly fall of the supermarkets and discounters over the last five years clearly illustrates the fierce competition and the resulting decline in sales that the big four supermarkets have experienced.
“Poundland’s acquisition of 99p Stores was the first sign of any consolidation within the discounter market which has shown explosive growth at 52% over the last five years.
“The result has been not only the closure of supermarkets but most recently some discounters have also closed some stores, of which Poundstretcher is an example. “Overall the discounter march continues as seen by the second half of 2015 when 120 new discount shops opened whilst in the same period 12 supermarkets closed.”
But he added: “Supermarkets are addressing their space and offer issues with some vigour and a degree of success and as these plans come to fruition it will be interesting to see how the discounters are impacted and react.
“This analysis excludes the role of convenience stores in this battle which is covered in a separate report.”
Shoppers in New Street, Huddersfield said they loved visiting discount retailers.
Margaret Shearon, 64, from Bradley, said she shopped for toiletries and “bits and bats” at Home Bargains and Poundland.
“Town has changed for the better,” she said. “I can get everything I need. I also shop at Sainsbury’s in town.”
But her son Marc branded the Huddersfield shopping experience as very poor.
“There’s nothing here for me. I have to go to Leeds for trainers and my clothes. Huddersfield is getting like a ghost town.”
Miles Howarth, 17, who was popping into Primark with friend Megan Hamer, also 17, for some value sunglasses, said: “Huddersfield is not too bad if you need something quick.”
Megan added: “I go to Leeds or Manchester to shop. I come on here (New Street) if I am looking for something cheap.”
Grant, 40, from Lindley, said he liked shopping in New Street pound shops or gardening gear.
He said the many vacant shop windows ought to be filled with artwork to brighten up the area.
“There’s lots of vacant properties and it does look a bit drab.”