Discounter Aldi is continuing to buck the trend of difficult trading conditions in food retail, announcing that plans to open 65 stores this year are ‘on track’.
The German-based company also said it plans to open another 1,000 stores by 2022 and will launch an online offering next year. The company will initially sell cases of wine online, followed by non-food ‘Specialbuys’ later in the year.
In its last financial year Aldi’s sales rose 31% to £6.9 billion in the 12 months to 31 December, compared with £5.27 billion the year before. It is continuing to challenge rivals. Morrisons recently said it would no longer price-match Aldi and Lidl, while press reports suggest Aldi itself will ‘respond to price cuts from competitors with further discounts.’ However the price war is having an effect. Aldi’s operating profits fell by £11 million to £260.3 million in the last calendar year while pre-tax profits also slipped by £10.1 million to £250.6 million.
“We refuse to be beaten on price from anyone. People can buy exactly what they want from us rather than three of an item to qualify for a discount. We don’t bamboozle our customers with promotions,” said chief executive, Matthew Barnes.