Retailer of the Year achieves record sales

Barnes says Aldi will continue to give shoppers outstanding value
  (Photo: Aldi )

Aldi’s fresh meat and fish products have helped the discounter secure its best-ever sales. 

The positive outlook follows Aldi’s success at Meat Trades Journal’s SuperMeat & Fish Awards, where it was named Meat & Fish Retailer of the Year and also won the Best Overall Product for its Specially Selected Salmon Wellington.

For the year ending 31 December 2016, sales in the UK and Ireland reached £8.7 billion, representing an increase of 13.5%.

The supermarket chain said that over one million new customers, switching to Aldi attracted by its cheap prices, have largely driven growth. Its biggest performing categories for the period were fresh fish and meat, alongside fruit and vegetables, with its Specially Selected range up 40%.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, sales for Aldi grew 15.6%, taking its market share to 6.9% for the 12 weeks ending 10 September 2017.

“Our growth is accelerating, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of new customers switching their shop to Aldi,” commented Matthew Barnes, chief executive officer for Aldi UK and Ireland. “This is happening right across the UK 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.

“We’re doing everything we can to insulate customers from those cost increases, making sure our prices are the lowest in the UK, every day of the year. At the same time, we’ve been improving the quality of our range and introducing the new products our customers have asked for. The result is a carefully selected range of exclusive own-label brands and award-winning products.”

Growth strategy

As part of its ‘Project Fresh’ strategy, Aldi is set to open an additional 150 stores next year. The £300 million (m) investment programme has been designed to create more in-store space for fresh, chilled and food-to-go ranges. By the end of 2018, 250 stores will have launched under the new format.

In addition, the discounter has plans to introduce more than 160 new products to its festive range including a Sirloin of Beef with Porcini, Shallot and White Truffle Stuffing and a Dressed Side of Salmon.

Seventy-seven per cent of Aldi’s sales are from products sourced from over 1,000 British suppliers, including its entire range of fresh meat.

A total of 29,000 staff are employed across Aldi’s 726 UK stores and it was named the best-performing supermarket for customer satisfaction in the recent UK Customer Satisfaction Index.

Barnes added: “We’re really proud of our track record and commitment to Britain – from the lowest prices and best service for our shoppers, to the highest wages for our people and the best relationships with our suppliers.

“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 UK.”
 
Although sales are up, profits actually declined by 17% to £211.3m due to the company’s continued investment in prices and infrastructure, although Barnes remained undeterred by this. “These results and our strong performance during 2017 mean we are confident and excited about our future plans,” he concluded.

“We continue to do what we have always promised – invest in our prices to ensure Aldi customers enjoy outstanding value, always.”

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