Retailer Aldi has said this week that it’s “on track” to open 65 stores in 2015 and plans to open 1000 by 2022.
The discount grocer also announced plans to launch online in 2016, initially selling cases of wine followed by non-food Specialbuys later in the year. The move will bring the fastest-growing grocery brand to thousands more consumers.
In its last financia year Aldi's sales rose 31% to £6.9bn in the 12 months to 31 December, compared with £5.27bn the year before.
The business – which opened its first UK store in 1990 – has more than doubled its sales in the past three years² alone, becoming the UK’s sixth biggest grocer by market share and demonstrating the rapidly increasing popularity of the brand.
During th same period, Aldi said it had invested a total of £878m in its UK expansion, following unprecedented capital expenditure of £438m in 2014 in new stores and regional distribution centres.
Aldi, which is privately-owned, said the strength of its balance sheet, which had net assets of almost £2bn at the end of last year, would underpin its continued investment in the UK.
Matthew Barnes, CEO of Aldi UK & Ireland, said: “ As the grocery market continues to evolve, our unique model, operational efficiency, private ownership and financial strength mean we’re able to keep investing in our business – from people and presence to products and prices.”
Mr Barnes added: “As well as driving down prices for shoppers, our growth and investment is having a lasting and positive effect on the UK economy, with more local jobs and more British-made products across our stores. We’re also determined to ensure our success is shared along the supply chain, with fair terms and predictable pricing to create better conditions for growers and producers.”
Last year, the business created 7,000 new jobs and has paid £57.9m of tax for the same period.
Commenting on the future, Mr Barnes said: “The past 25 years has been an incredible journey for Aldi in the UK. During that time, the grocery market has changed beyond recognition – and changed for the better. At present, there are still 47 per cent of households that don’t shop with us. We’re hugely excited about the enormous scope for growth over the next 25 years.”