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Aldi will spend £300m over the next three years improving its UK stores as it tries to attract even more shoppers away from the “big four” grocers in Britain.
The UK arm of the German retail heavyweight announced the investment as it posted sales of more than £7.7bn for the year to December 31 2015, a fresh record and a 12 per cent increase year-on-year.
Although Aldi’s sales growth has far outpaced the rest of the UK grocery sector, the jump in sales last year was smaller than in 2014, when the group succeeded in increasing sales from £5.27bn to £6.89bn.
The group has also not been immune to the price wars that have been eating into profit margins in the grocery sector and operating profit fell 1.8 per cent last year to £255.6m. This, the group said, reflected its “continued investment in prices”.
Aldi said the £300m would be spent on refurbishing some of its 659 stores in the UK, improving its fresh food offering and introducing “newly-designed fixtures” for beer, wine and spirits.
Last year Aldi attracted 761,000 new customers although its market share, at 6.2 per cent, still remains modest compared to the “big four”, which have been fighting back against the German discounters with low prices.
Matthew Barnes, chief executive for Aldi UK and Ireland, said:
Aldi has continued to win the trust of millions of new customers thanks to a single, simple and unbroken promise – to provide the very best quality products at prices that cannot be beaten. This explains our performance and underpins our investment.
Aldi intends to have 1,000 stores in the UK by 2022 and will add a further 70 sites in 2017.
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