Aldi unveils plan to open 100 new stores as annual sales rise
German supermarket group Aldi said it was creating 2,000 jobs and opening another 100 stores across the UK as part of its £1.3bn plan to grab a larger share of the British grocery market.
Aldi said it would also use the cash to expand its distribution centres, including a new 1.3m sq ft warehouse in Leicestershire, and trial a new checkout-free store in Greenwich in London, where it will use cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to scan items and charge shoppers.
It is part of the German discounter’s efforts to bolster its profile in the UK, where it is the fifth largest supermarket, employing about 38,000 staff across its 920 grocery stores.
The company also released its annual results, revealing a 10.2% rise in sales in UK and Ireland to £13.5bn in the year to December 31.
Pre-tax profits fell 2.5% to £264.8m, hit by the cost of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and keeping down food prices. Operating profit fell 1.2% to £287.7m.
It added that all money received in business rate relief during the pandemic had been returned to the government.
“While the cost of responding to the pandemic dampened profits, our decision to return business rate relief was the right thing to do”, said Aldi’s UK and Ireland chief executive Giles Hurley.