Aldi is investing £1.3bn in developing “more places and more ways” to shop with it as it looks to grow its market share. The investment will see the discount supermarket expand its click and collect service beyond the 200 shops where it is currently available, and open a new checkout-free store in Greenwich, London.
Aldi moved quickly to introduce online shopping delivery and collection during the Covid-19 pandemic, introducing click and collect services as well as fast Deliveroo deliveries.
Over the next two years the supermarket plans to open 100 new shops while expanding its logistics infrastructure, adding a 1.3m sq ft site in Leicestershire. The new checkout-free store will use cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to identify which products shoppers take from the shelves.
Aldi already has more than 920 UK shops and in the last financial year introduced a click and collect service that is now operating in more than 200 shops, and is now set to expand through the new investment. The supermarket also plans a checkout-free store in Greenwich, London, following in the footsteps of Amazon Fresh stores. Overall, more than 2,000 new jobs are expected to be created at Aldi as a result of its investment in new store formats and multichannel services.
The update came as the supermarket today reported record UK and Ireland sales of £13.5bn in the year to December 31 2020. That’s 10.2% up on the previous year. Pre-tax profits of £264.8m were 2.5% down on the £271.5m reported a year earlier.
Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive Giles Hurley says the supermarket invested for growth during a record year, and spent more than £600m in shops and distribution centres in the UK. It also returned the business rate relief that the government offered to retailers during the pandemic.
He adds: “Whilst 2020 was an extremely challenging year, our 41,000 colleagues stepped up when it mattered most – their dedication to the communities they serve has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite some of the most difficult conditions our sector has ever seen, our people underlined the strength, success and spirit of our business.
“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.”
Aldi, a Top50 retailer in RXUK Top500 research, has pledged to halve the volume of plastic packaging that it uses by 2025, and to remove more than two billion pieces of plastic from circulation as a result. In April it started to trial selling packaging-free products.