Discounters Aldi and Lidl are experiencing their lowest sales growth in five years, according to Nielsen’s retail performance data.

Retail Express spoke to three retailers about the impact the discounters had on their businesses, and whether Aldi and Lidl pose as big a threat to the convenience sector as the ‘big four’ supermarkets.

Aldi and Lidl are worse than the supermarkets. There are a lot of products sold there that are imported and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the same as selling non-duty paid cigarettes imported from Europe. What’s the difference? Both have a strong element of operating outside the system, and that’s what I think Aldi and Lidl do. It’s so hard to compete with them.

Ravi Kaushal, Premier Burlington News, Chiswick, west London

We’ve potentially got an Aldi opening near us soon. It’s a big threat. Aldi seem to be opening next to Asda stores, they’re going after their customers. They are cheaper, but the stores are messy and they’ve only got 1,500 lines. You can’t wait for them to arrive; you need to start preparing early. We’re looking at a mini-refit before they come to freshen things up. It’s too late to ask if you’ve done enough after they arrive.

Bal Singh, Nisa Local, Great Barr, Birmingham

Aldi and Lidl are a big threat on the fruit and veg side of things because the product is dirt cheap and it’s quite fresh. The other products don’t bother me as much, it’s all non-branded goods, which doesn’t affect us so much in convenience. But you can’t compete with cucumbers for 30p – the only way thing you can do is go and buy it direct from them and sell it on.

Vip Panchmatia, Mace, Stroud, Gloucestershire