Aldi is to create another 4,000 jobs and open 100 new stores as part of a £1.3bn investment drive in the UK.
The new jobs are on top of 3,000 permanent roles the discount supermarket chain has created this year after grocery sales surged during the coronavirus pandemic, while many other businesses have laid off staff.
The German retailer is targeting 1,200 stores in the UK by 2025. Aldi is Britain’s fifth-largest grocer with 894 stores and more than 36,000 staff. It is also upgrading more than 100 existing shops, as well as expanding its warehouses.
Aldi, which does not offer a full-scale delivery service, launched a click and collect service last week. It is also trialling a rapid delivery service with Deliveroo.
Morrisons and Tesco have reintroduced limits on some essentials such as toilet roll and soap in recent days to discourage shoppers from stockpiling, as happened at the time of the Covid-19 lockdown in March. Aldi said on Monday that availability of products was good and it had no immediate plans to introduce limits, although this will be reviewed on a daily basis.
Giles Hurley, the chief executive for Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “With the UK’s economic outlook increasingly uncertain, families are more concerned about their grocery bills than ever. We’ve seen before that our customers need us most in times of financial hardship, which is why our commitment to remain Britain’s lowest-priced supermarket is more important than ever.”
Announcing its UK expansion plans alongside annual results, Aldi said it had won new customers, taking the total to more than 18 million last year. This helped boost sales in the UK and Ireland by 8.3% to £12.3bn in 2019, while the grocery market grew 1%. It made a pretax profit of £271.5m in 2019, up 49% from 2018.
The latest data from research firm Kantar shows Aldi’s UK sales rose 10% in the four weeks to 6 September, giving it an 8% share of the UK market. Aldi and its German rival Lidl have been the fastest-growing supermarket chains in recent years.
Aldi said it had revamped about half of its range to improve product quality and introduced hundreds of new products in line with changing consumer tastes, such as the Nordic Wolf hard seltzer range, Haysmith’s raspberry and redcurrant pink gin, Plant Menu vegan pizza, the no steak bake, British wagyu steaks and its Lyme Block English rosé made in South Devon.