Aldi posts record sales as rising numbers of shoppers switch to discounters

Marco Green
September 25, 2017

For the year to December 31 2016 the British arm of the German discount supermarket Aldi Sud made an operating profit of 211.3 million pounds ($286.2 million), down from 255.6 million pounds in 2015.

Discount retailer Aldi has announced that sales in the United Kingdom and Ireland were up by 13.5% to £8.7 billion in its 2016 financial year.

Aldi said it is planning to open a further 70 new United Kingdom stores in 2018 while 23 are due to open in the final three months of this year.

Aldi said it reformulated more than a third of its products a year ago to further improve quality.

The retailer, which operates 726 stores in the United Kingdom, says that growth was driven by over one million new customers switching to Aldi previous year. A total of 250 stores will have launched in the new format by the end of 2018.

The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel reveal that Aldi is now the fifth-biggest supermarket in the United Kingdom, with 7% market share, however, it saw sales rise by 15.6% in the most recent period.

United Kingdom and Ireland chief executive Matthew Barnes said: "The fact that more and more customers walk through our doors every day of the week gives us the confidence to carry on investing - in people, jobs, stores and our distribution network - and continues to fuel our growth right across the United Kingdom".

The strong performance looks to have continued into 2017, with Aldi noting that like-for-like sales were "strongly positive" in 2016 and had accelerated this year.

Aldi is the fifth biggest supermarket with a 6.9% share of the market, said its best-performing categories were its Specially Selected range of premium quality products, alongside fresh fruit and veg, fish and meat. This is happening right across the United Kingdom and is all down to a simple, straightforward commitment - products comparable to the leading brands and supermarket premium ranges at the lowest prices in Britain.

In response the figures, Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of Leeds-based shopper marketing agency Savvy!, said: "Today's numbers show that even Aldi are not immune to pressure on margin and that making profit and growing at a speedy pace is a tough job". Aldi said future capital expenditure plans remained entirely unaffected by the UK's decision to leave the European Union and that it expects to invest £459m during 2017.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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