Tesco beware – Aldi has set its sights on the UK as a market ripe for growth, and it's backing its expansion plans with £70m.
The budget supermarket today announced plans to almost double the number of stores in the UK from 531 to 1,000, and expand its UK headquarters in Atherstone, Warwickshire.
The German discounter said it will open its 1,000th store in 2021, while the central England base will be complete in 2017. It will lease a second building at the site until the extension is complete, it said.
Alongside competitor Lidl, Aldi has put the cat among the pigeons since launching in the UK in 1990, with both retailers stealing 1.6 percentage points from Britain's big four – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons – prompting them to cut prices, and contributing to some of the more lacklustre performance from the market leaders.
Aldi now has 4.8 per cent of grocery market share, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
Aldi said it opened 42 UK stores last year and plans to add a further 54 outlets in 2014. It will create 7,000 new jobs this year as a result.
“In addition to opening new stores, we are making strong investment in our behind the scenes operations,” said Roman Heini, Aldi’s joint group managing director.
Matthew Barnes, group managing director of Aldi UK, added:
Since Aldi opened its first UK store in 1990, we have established a reputation as an award-winning retailer that offers the highest quality products at everyday low prices. This is driving our growth and we are rapidly expanding to meet customer demand.