(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abdelaziz Abdou, a Deliveroo delivery rider, poses with a bag of Aldi groceries in London, Britain, June 17, 2020. Picture taken June 17. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) -The British and Irish arm of German discount supermarket group Aldi said on Monday it would invest 1.3 billion pounds ($1.78 billion) over the next two years to open 100 new stores, as it bids to accelerate its growth in market share.
Aldi and German rival Lidl have grown rapidly in the last decade, forcing Britain’s big four supermarkets of Tesco (OTC:TSCDY), Sainsbury’s Asda and Morrisons to cut prices and compete more aggressively.
Aldi is Britain’s fifth largest supermarket group, with 920 UK stores and an 8% market share.
It said its plans were expected to create over 2,000 new jobs next year, adding to the 7,000 permanent roles created over the past two years.
The group said 2020 sales rose 10.2% to 13.5 billion pounds but operating profit fell 1.2% to 287.7 million pounds, reflecting the costs of COVID-19.
Aldi enjoyed over a decade of strong growth on the back of new store openings but its market share edged lower during the pandemic, partly due to a lack of a significant online offer.
The crisis has prompted Aldi to accelerate its push into home delivery via a partnership with Deliveroo so it can benefit from an increase in demand that is expected to last.
It has also introduced a click and collect service which is now live in 200 stores.
($1 = 0.7311 pounds)
Aldi UK to invest $1.8 billion to accelerate growth
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