Belfast Telegraph

Aldi boss reveals massive expansion plans for supermarket chain

The boss of Aldi has outlined aggressive expansion plans that could see the German supermarket open over a thousand new stores.

Matthew Barnes indicated in an interview with industry magazine The Grocer that Aldi could open up to eight stores in some British towns, piling further pressure on its more established rivals.

"If you look at the population, we think not only could we have a store in every town and city, but for every 25,000 to 30,000 people," he said.

Aldi currently has 700 British outlets and, according to Mr Barnes's calculations and the UK population, this could increase to 2,600 stores as part of the firm's expansion plan.

Such an expansion would see Aldi go toe to toe with Tesco, which has around 2,700 supermarkets and convenience stores in the country.

Mr Barnes added that he expects Aldi to grow quicker than its 2022 target of 1,000 stores, with the total closer to 1,300.

"We have 700 stores now and 300 sites already approved on our books.

"And there are 600 town locations where we don't have a store; in many of which we could easily have two, three or four stores ... We don't have a store in Watford, (but) that would be a six to eight Aldi town."

The emergence of Aldi and its fellow German grocer Lidl has shook the grocery sector's so-called Big Four - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons - who remain locked in a bitter price war sparked by the duo.

Soaring inflation linked to the Brexit-hit pound is expected to see British consumers turn to cheaper options this year, providing a further boost for the pair.

Figures out last month showed the German duo hit record high market share and now have a collective 11.7% share of the market.

In February Aldi overtook the Co-operative to become Britain's fifth largest grocer, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.

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