Aldi ramps up store expansion with £1bn push

UK discounter Aldi is ramping up its store expansion and aiming to open one new supermarket every week, its UK retail boss has said.

Aldi opened its first new smaller convenience ‘Local’ format in Balham in March. (Photo: Aldi)

Aldi’s chief executive for the UK and Ireland, Giles Hurley, said the retailer was planning to invest £1 billion to achieve its aim.

“The reality is that almost 50% of the population of the UK doesn’t currently shop with us and they tell us the main reason for that is that they don’t have a store near us” he told the BBC.

The new store push was announced as the discounter reported an 18% fall in profits last year due on the back of heavy discounting to offer competitive pricing and boost market share.

Store growth to date has already added more than 800,000 new customers and boosting sales by an extra £1.1 billion.

Total sales rose to £11.3 billion in the year to 31 December, a rise of 11% since last year.

Hurley said there was a “big opportunity” to open more stores in Greater London, where market share is around half of what it is in the rest of the country.

“Clearly there’s clearly a big opportunity for us to expand the business. In the long term, we can comfortably see us opening 200-250 stores within London,” he said.

The discounter has followed the lead of retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury’s by opening smaller ‘Local’ stores in urban areas to cash in on the convenience market.

Aldi has rolled out eight of these in Greater London to date, starting with a store in Balham (pictured) and including one in a former Waitrose store in Camden.

The retailer  has also unveiled a premium own label wine range that will only be available exclusively online, as well as bolstering the lower end of the market adding new sub-£4 varietal wines in store.

Speaking at a recent tasting, new wine buying director Josh Heley told db about his plans to refresh the discounter’s core product range, boost underperforming countries such as Chile and US, and ensure there were no gaps in its varietal wines to ensure it could compete and have “the lowest priced wine that offers the best quality on the market”.

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