Aldi chief Giles Hurley says ‘there are still areas of the country that don’t have an Aldi’ – Andrew Fox
Aldi has embarked on a £550m expansion drive in a push to lure new shoppers to the discount grocer after its market share fell.
The supermarket is aiming to eventually open another 500 stores – increasing the size of its estate by 50pc – and is seeking both town centre properties and larger sites on the edge of towns in a bid to steal customers from rivals.
Aldi has suffered a drop in market share over the past few months, after benefitting from a significant boost during the cost of living crisis.
Aldi and fellow discounter Lidl stole a march on the traditional supermarkets in the wake of the financial crisis. Aldi overtook Morrisons to become the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket in September 2022.
However, Aldi’s share of UK grocery sales dropped from a peak of 10.2pc in September 2023 to 9.3pc in January, according to Kantar.
While Aldi’s share has declined since September, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have both grown their market share after cutting prices and matching Aldi on hundreds of products to keep shoppers loyal.
Despite this, Aldi had its best Christmas for sales on record in 2023, with revenues rising 8pc to £1.8bn over the four weeks to Christmas Eve, the discounter said in January.
Aldi claimed its expansion drive would create more than 1,500 new jobs in 2024 as it targets areas of the country where it is currently less exposed.
Giles Hurley, Aldi’s chief executive, said: “There are still areas of the country that don’t have an Aldi, or that need more or larger stores to meet demand. This is what our 2024 expansion plans aim to address.”
Aldi is not the only major grocer planning an expansion this year. Asda has said it will open 110 convenience stores in February in a long running push to reach a total of 1,000 stores.
Like Aldi, Asda – the UK’s third-largest grocer – has set about opening new stores across locations where it has traditionally had a smaller presence such as the South of England, as it seeks to catch up with Sainsbury’s, the second-largest.