The German supermarket chain Aldi plans to invest GBP1.3bn in the UK over the next two years as it continues its effort to nab market share from Britain’s biggest supermarkets.
The discount supermarket group said it will open 100 new stores across the UK and expand its logistics infrastructure, including a new 1.3mln square foot site in Leicestershire.
Aldi said it will create 2,000 new jobs next year, adding to the 7,000 permanent roles already created over the past two years.
The investment announcement accompanied a trading update which revealed sales growth of 10.2% to GBP13.5bn in the UK and Ireland in 2020.
Pre-tax profit dropped by 2.5% to GBP264.8mln, dampened by continued investment in price and the cost of responding to the pandemic.
Customer numbers increased by 1% to 17.8mln. Data from Kantar shows that Aldi has a share of 8.1% of the UK grocery market. This compares with just over 27% for the biggest supermarket group Tesco PLC (LSE:TSCO).
The group is making further investments in its click-and-collect service and plans to trial a new checkout-free concept store in Greenwich, London, which will use a system of cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to identify the items customers take from shelves, alleviating the need to go through a checkout.
Aldi, which has 920 stores in the UK stores, said it will continue to focus on offering its customers the lowest possible prices. It said it made price reductions worth GBP238mln last year.
Giles Hurley, chief executive officer for Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “We’re continuing to gain even more customers – with over 60% of households shopping with Aldi in the last year. By redefining the discount supermarket in the UK, creating more places and more ways to shop with us, we are excited to provide millions of new customers with access to Aldi’s award-winning quality and unbeatable value.”