what supermarkets are in the uk? grocery sales, food shops, tesco, asda, sainsbury's, morrisons, lidl, aldi, waitrose, marks and spencer, co-operative, budgens, tesco express

What supermarkets are there in the UK?

By Luke Aldred

We’re very lucky in the UK to have a wide variety of places to do our food shopping.

Grocery sales in the UK are dominated by the ‘big four’: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. However, more recently, people have been searching for value and so discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have become hugely popular, which is causing the ‘big four’ to reduce prices and offer better deals. You then have Waitrose and Marks and Spencer, arguably the most expensive grocery stores in the UK, which focus on high-quality products and a pleasant shopping experience.

Smaller convenience stores such as the Co-operative, Budgens and Tesco Express are also dotted around most villages and shoppers often visit these on a daily basis to grab lunch or bits they’ve forgotten to pick up. You can buy pretty much everything you might need from these smaller shops, but they tend to be slightly more expensive than the larger supermarket.

It is important to note that large supermarkets which advertise as a 24-hour store still have to obide by the Sunday Trading Act 1994. This means that they are only allowed to be open for 6 continual hours on a Sunday; most stores shut at 4pm but it could vary depending on what time they open. For ease, if you Google the supermarket and location, it will list the opening and closing times.

Another thing to bear in mind is carrier bags. The law now requires large shops in England to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags, with the aim to reduce the use of these bags and the litter they cause. Shoppers are instead encouraged to bring reusable bags – often called ‘bags for life’ which tend to vary in cost between 10p and £2.00. It’s a good idea to purchase a fold-up ‘bag for life’, which you can then leave in your bag in case you decide to do a last-minute shop; you will not get charged for paper bags in stores.

If you are moving to the countryside and require a car to reach a supermarket, it is worth checking whether your driving license is valid in the UK. If you would prefer not to drive, some of the large supermarkets offer home deliveries.

For more information on moving to the UK, read our collection of blogs.