Belfast Telegraph

Discounter Aldi had £1bn of UK sales in December

By Alys Key

Aldi rang up sales of almost £1bn in the UK during December as the discount supermarket experienced its best ever Christmas trading period.

The company said yesterday that sales were driven by customers switching from other food retailers amid higher demand for its premium ranges.

While it has not yet opened any stores in Northern Ireland, it has 800 stores elsewhere in the UK as well as 130 shops in the Republic.

Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi UK, said: "Although we saw strong growth across all key categories, the standout performance was in our Specially Selected brand, where shoppers treated themselves to premium products for a fraction of the price they would have paid elsewhere for similar quality products."

The influx of customers meant that the week of December 17 was Aldi's busiest-ever in the UK, with sales more than 10% higher than the previous year. More than 17 million bottles of wine, champagne and prosecco were sold, along with 50 million mince pies and 100 million sprouts.

The latest update comes as Aldi's UK market share stands at an all-time high of 7.6%, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel data.

The retailer, which opened its 800th UK store in 2018, plans to open more in the coming years, to reach 1,200 by 2025.

Mr Hurley said: "We begin the new year with great momentum as the UK's fastest-growing supermarket and on the back of record Christmas sales."

In Northern Ireland, Tesco is the dominant retail player in Northern Ireland, with around 50 stores.

In the latest Kantar Worldpanel supermarket share report, its share went up by 0.1 of a percentage point to 35.3%.

And its closest rival, Sainsbury's, increased its share by 0.1%, giving it 17.4% of the market. Sainsbury's, which has 14 stores in Northern Ireland, also put more space between it and Asda, which now has 17% of the market and 17 stores.

But expansion in Lidl's sales of 9% over the year left it as Northern Ireland's fastest-growing retailer and secured its market share of 5.8%. It's also growing quickly in the Republic, with sales up 4.1%. However, its expansion in the Republic is eclipsed by Aldi, where sales are up 7%, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Belfast Telegraph