Nielsen’s Homescan data reports more than 2.2 million households bought from a bargain store for the first time during the past 12 months.
The data suggests bargain stores are more popular with discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, which are visited by 75% of households, compared to 78% of the population who have shopped at a bargain store.
Household, packaged grocery, confectionary and health and beauty are the most popular items bought at bargain stores, accounting for 63% of sales.
Fruit and vegetables appear to be experiencing the biggest rise in popularity, albeit from a small base, over the last year.
31% of the increased annual amount people spent at bargain stores came from people shifting spend away from supermarkets and health and beauty retailers. The big four supermarkets are the most affected by this switching, accounting for 73% of spend shifted away towards bargain stores.
Nielsen’s Homescan data measures purchasing among 14,500 households, whereby people scan the items at home that they buy in shops.
Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said: "The rising spend at bargain stores is driven by two things: the huge rise in first-time visitors and, more importantly from a long-term perspective, shoppers buying a larger repertoire of products from bargain stores – some of which they previously bought from mainstream retailers."