Fast-growing discounter Lidl produced another set of impressive Christmas figures this morning, boasting double-digit sales growth.
Sales in the month of December grew 16 per cent year-on-year, and the supermarket's busiest trading day was 22 December, when families stocked up for their Christmas day feast.
Lidl continued to open stores, opening nine new outlets, bringing its store total to 693. The total store estate grew by 43 stores in 2017.
Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK CEO, said: "Lidl UK has had a fantastic 2017 and this was capped by our strongest Christmas trading period to date. Customers came into our stores to buy more of their Christmas items, knowing they could find high quality products at market-leading prices.
"The commitment of our 20,500 colleagues across the country was key to our success during this busy period and I'm extremely grateful for their contribution."
Questions around the ongoing success of Lidl, and its rival Aldi, have centred on whether they can build up the store portfolio required to compete with the Big Four supermarkets.
However, according data from Barbour ABI, the German discounters are expanding apace. Lidl submitted 68 planning applications for new stores last year, while Aldi submitted 60 planning applications. Over the next two months, Lidl plans to open five new stores in the capital in Shepherd's Bush, Walthamstow Central, South Ruislip, Hornchurch and Rosehill.
Lidl is also boosting is capacity for online sales. This week, it announced plans for a giant new distribution centre near Luton, which will provide up to 1,000 jobs.