to expand with smaller stores
Aldi has unveiled plans to double its store footprint inside the M25 by opening more standard-sized and new, smaller-format ‘Local’ stores on London high streets.
(Author : Liz Wells)
The supermarket said it would increase store numbers inside the M25 from 45 to 100 by the end of 2025. It confirmed new Aldi stores opening inside the M25 over the coming months would include Sydenham, Blackheath and Watford. Aldi said trials of its Local format – which measure around half the size of a typical store and stock around 1,500 products – had exceeded expectations since they began in March.
The supermarket, which currently operates more than 840 stores, plans to open more than 100 new stores across the UK over the next two years alone as part of its long-term target of 1,200 stores by the end of 2025, underlining the scale of its ambitions. Its UK-wide expansion is expected to create more than 5,000 new jobs over the next two years.
Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “Whilst our expansion will continue to reach every part of the UK, we’re increasing our focus on London, where our market share is just 3.4%, compared to 8.1% nationally. London shoppers regularly tell us they would switch to Aldi if there was one nearby, so there is clearly a significant growth opportunity for us in the capital.”
In its annual trading update, Aldi said sales for the UK and Ireland had increased 11% to £11.3bn in the year to 31 December 2018. It said profits had been lower last year as it cut prices for customers and invested further in its infrastructure.
Aldi said it had maintained its price advantage of 24% over the Big Four on an average basket of everyday items, while increasing margin in the current year.
The supermarkets said it was also continuing to roll out its Project Fresh initiative – a £300m investment to create more in store space for fresh, chilled and food-to-go ranges, as well as simpler layouts, improved fixtures and brighter, wider aisles. More than half of its existing stores have been converted to the new format with the remaining stores being converted by the end of 2022.