Discounter Aldi has stepped up competition with its retailing rivals after launching its first online shopping service today selling over 90 different wines and champagnes by the case.
The German retailer's new online wine cellar includes best sellers from its in-store ranges as well as a new range of "fine boutique wines", called the Lot Series, available only online.
Prices range from £22.74 for a case of Cambalala South African Sauvignon Blanc to £119.94 for six bottles of an award-winning Champagne Blanc de Blanc.
The launch is part of wider plans to invest £35m in building an online business – the only front it has yet to challenge the Big Four and other retail rivals including Majestic. It will expand into further so-called special buys in the second quarter including premium cycling wear, electrical items, camping equipment, clothing, gardening and DIY tools.
Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi UK, said: “In 2015, Aldi was named Multiple Wine Retailer of the Year and one in every 13 bottles of wine purchased in the UK was bought from an Aldi store. Starting with wines is a logical first step for us. It’s a stand-out category for Aldi and often the entry point for customers who haven’t shopped with us before."
The online service is available across the UK except Northern Ireland. Delivery is free for orders under £50 and customers can also pick up from 5,500 Collect+ locations.
Aldi currently operates over 630 UK stores and plans to open a further 83 this year. The retailer is on course to reach 1,000 stores by 2022.
The latest Kantar Worldpanel data showed that Aldi maintained its double-digit sales growth over Christmas with sales up by 13.3 per cent in the 12 weeks to 3 January.