These additional stores will consist of standard sized outlets as well as smaller sized local format shops. The smaller local format outlets will typically be half the size of standard stores, with a product range of around 1,500. Within London Aldi currently has a market share of 3.4% compared to 8.1% nationally and therefore sees potential growth within the capital.
The store expansion within London is being reflected across the UK as a whole by Aldi. Nation-wide they have 840 stores, to which the company want to open an additional 100 over the next two years. The discount chain’s stated target is to have 1,200 supermarket outlets across the country by the end of 2025, with over half of UK households already shopping with them. The smaller sized local format stores have been trialled since March, proving successful with customers and will be an important part of the forthcoming expansion.
Currently the fifth largest Supermarket in the UK, Aldi posted record sales figures last year. Their annual trading update recorded an increase of 11%, equating to total sales worth £11.3 billion. This compares to a national growth rate in the supermarket trade of 2.5%. However, the update also recorded a fall in annual operating profits of 26%, a drop they attribute to price reductions and investment in new stores. Last year Aldi say they invested £531 million, with a further £1 billion earmarked for investment over the next two years, which also includes store upgrades and new distribution centres.
Aldi first hit the UK supermarket scene in 1990 and demand for their services seems to keep rising. The company claim the average basket of everyday products is 24% lower in their shops compared to the big four in the trade. It also sees its Project Fresh initiative as key in claiming a bigger share of the UK market, investing £300 million to create more space in their stores for fresh and chilled foods, as well as food-to-go. This is alongside easier layouts, wider aisles and better fixtures and fittings, all designed to enhance the customer experience and create loyal returning customer trade.
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