Aldi puts low price promise ahead of profit and wins customers in cost-of-living crisis

A shopper collects their Aldi online shop. Image courtesy of Aldi

A shopper collects their Aldi online shop. Image courtesy of Aldi

Aldi today says that it’s moving beyond a pandemic hit to profits, and winning new customers by keeping prices low in the cost-of-living crisis. The supermarket continues to invest in distribution and technology, while expanding services such as click and collect.

Aldi today reports sales of £13.6bn in its 2021 full year, up by 0.9% on the previous year. But pre-tax profits of £35.7m were 86.5% down on the previous year. The fall, it says, came as it invested in prices, staff and was hit by pandemic-related expenses. 

It plans to continue to promise the lowest grocery prices in the UK during the cost-of-living crisis. Now, says Aldi, its stores are seeing more visits as shoppers look for value for money – in the past 12 weeks it has seen an extra 1.5m customers. Trading, it says has grown quickly over the past six months following the lifting of pandemic restrictions. Recent Kantar Worldpanel figures suggested that Aldi had overtaken Morrisons’ grocery sales in the 12 weeks to September 4 2022 to become the UK’s third-biggest supermarket. 

Aldi currently has more than 970 shops and now plans to open a further 16 before the end of the year. It is continuing its £1.3bn two-year plan to invest in more ways and places to shop with Aldi. That plan has included further rolling out a click and collect service, expanding or relocating stores, and developing its own network of distribution centres and technology infrastructure. It expects to create more than 6,000 new jobs this year, on top of 4,500 permanent jobs created last year.

Aldi currently offers a limited online range, primarily wine and special buys, for home delivery while shoppers can also order groceries for click and collect from a growing number of supermarkets. Aldi says sales of its Specially Selected range grew by 29% in the last 12 weeks as shoppers switched from more expensive supermarkets. 

Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, says: “The cost-of-living crisis is worsening, and it’s being felt by millions of households across the UK. It’s in times like these when our customers rely on us the most, which is why we’re focusing on continuing to deliver our longstanding price promise by offering the lowest possible prices in Britain, every single day.

“It’s also a time when Aldi comes into its own. From our carefully selected range to our smaller format stores to our trademark efficiency, we can leverage our unique approach for the benefit of all of our customers.

“Independent research shows our discount is as compelling as ever and that’s why more and more people are switching to Aldi. We will do whatever it takes to maintain our discount to the traditional full price supermarkets and keep grocery prices as low as possible for the millions of customers that shop with us.”

He adds: “Preserving our price discount and rewarding our people will always be more important to us than short-term profit. Being privately owned means we can keep our promises even when times are tough.

“It also means we can continue to invest in the UK, with 16 new stores planned over the next 12 weeks alone, including Broadstairs, Luton, Lincoln and New Southgate in London. As well as bringing our award-winning quality and low prices to even more households, this will also help to create thousands of much-needed jobs whilst boosting British farming and manufacturing.”

Aldi is ranked Leading in RXUK Top500 research.

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