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ALDI announces UK expansion plans

ALDI-Belmont-Landini-AssociatesDiscount grocer ALDI has unveiled major plans for expansion in the UK as it announced its profit earnings for the financial year.

The discount grocer will add 130 new stores between 2019 and 2020 following on from its £1bn investment in store refurbishments last year.

The supermarket giant reported sales in the UK and Ireland rose by 16.4% to £10.2bn in the year to 31 December 2017. According to Kantar Worldpanel latest data, ALDI lured 1.1 million additional shoppers through its door due to its low prices. The market researcher said ALDI now commands 7.6% of all UK grocery spend. The data also revealed that more customers are choosing to buy ALDI’s private label products, with the average number of items bought per trip rising to over 19.

“While other grocers introduced more complexity into their businesses in their struggle to win back customers, we stuck to our guns and focused on doing what ALDI does best – buying smart, staying lean, improving quality and keeping prices low. Our biggest strength is our simplicity – a carefully selected range of exclusive own-label brands and award-winning products at the lowest prices. Millions of Britons can put fantastic-tasting food on their table every day of the week, at prices they can afford,” said Giles Hurley, CEO of ALDI UK and Ireland.

The Project Fresh initiative, a £300m refurbishment investment, is ongoing with over 200 existing stores to be converted to the new format by the end of 2018 and a further 380 stores completed by the end of 2021. The supermarket intends to create 5,000 new jobs over the next two years.

“Our future investment plans underline our continued commitment to growing responsibly in the UK. That means having a positive and lasting impact on the economies where we operate and improving the lives of British people. Our fundamental purpose remains – to bring outstanding quality groceries at the lowest prices for our customers, creating jobs and supporting British farming and manufacturing,” Hurley added.

ALDI said that it is supporting more British firms to grow sales with its sister operations around the world. It has pushed overseas markets such as the Bradford-based Seabrook crisps, which now trades with 470 of its stores in Australia, and Doncaster-based Sargents Bakeries, which has sold over £1m worth of its mince pies in the Land Down Under.

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