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Aldi reports Christmas sales growth – but analyst says ‘poor’ online service is holding it back

Image courtesy of Aldi

Aldi has reported sales growth of 0.4% in December – but one analyst says its ‘poor’ online grocery service is holding it back. 

The supermarket says it was the only major UK grocer to report sales growth in the three months running up to Christmas, according to Kantar. Its sales were also 8.1% up on 2019. 

Aldi says that its Kevin the Carrot advert had helped it to win half a million new customers from more expensive supermarkets.

Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi UK, says: ““As we look ahead, the top priority for most families this year will be managing their household budgets in the face of rising living costs. As the cheapest supermarket in Britain, Aldi will always offer the lowest prices for groceries, no matter what, and continue to support our British farmers and producers.”

He adds: “There’s no doubt that 2021 was a long and difficult year for lots of people, but our amazing colleagues stopped at nothing as they came together to deliver the Christmas that our customers deserved.”

The grocer has previously said it will create 2,000 new jobs in 2022, and invest £1.3bn over two years in steps including opening 100 new shops, distribution centres and upgrading existing stores. It is raising wages for store staff to a minimum of £10.10 an hour national and £11.55 for those inside the M25 and says this will mean Aldi remains the UK’s best-paying supermarket. 

Aldi launched click and collect services for online grocery orders in 2020, subsequently expanding it to 200 stores in December 2020, while adding Deliveroo deliveries from 130 stores. 

Kunaal Shah, associate retail analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, says Aldi’s Christmas performance was disappointing, with sales likely to be behind last year on a like-for-like basis that strips out store openings and closures, while its figures since 2019 reflect the continued growth of the grocery market. 

“Aldi’s poor online proposition has held it back in 2021 and will hinder the retailer’s future growth plans as consumers increasingly buy online,” says Shah. 

“Aldi’s low-price, store-first proposition means offering home delivery is not a priority at the moment, however it should explore this offer to truly compete with the top four. Consumers can order online via click and collect from around 200 stores, or through Deliveroo from over 130 stores (of its total 930 branches) but Aldi must consider rolling these options out to reach more consumers across the country, particularly as its competitors begin to expand rapid-delivery initiatives.”

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