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The end of the discount supermarket?

The end of the discount supermarket?
Photo: DPA

Prices at discount German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have risen quicker than those at their more expensive competitors, a consumer watchdog study revealed on Thursday.

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Customers shopping at the country's cheaper supermarkets in August paid four percent more for their items than at the same point the year before, while at what market research group GfK considered “normal supermarkets”, prices went up by 1.6 percent.

There are, the GfK said, a number of reasons for this. One of them being that cheaper stores have over the past year increased their range of organic and regionally sources products, which, on the whole are more expensive and thus push up price averages.

GfK trade expert Robert Kecskes said that a noticeable monthly increase in prices had been happening since March this year. They have also been increasing faster than inflation which stands at around 1.5 percent.

But the increase does not seem to have affected business. Aldi in particular has been experiencing success in Britain, with a 41 percent profit increase last year, on the year before.

At home, the discount supermarkets have, on average, seen a profit increase of 4.6 percent over the first seven months of 2013. Meanwhile other supermarkets in Germany saw an increase of 3.2 percent.

It remains to be seen, GfK analysts said, whether discount shops would keep raising prices. Customers have noticed that the price gap between different sorts of supermarkets is closing, Keckes said.

READ MORE: Peppers lead eye-watering food price rises

DPA/The Local/jcw

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