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Aldi announces new £300m store refresh alongside record sales
26 Sep 2016

  • Sales grow by £812m to a record £7.705bn – twice their level just three years ago
  • Customer numbers increase by 761,000 – 13.9m households now shopping at Aldi
  • Biggest-ever customer listening exercise leads to new £300m investment in UK stores – new format designed to enhance shopper experience and showcase quality
  • Fastest-growing sales in premium-quality Specially Selected range, fresh meat and baby and toddler
  • Investment of margin to maintain price leadership results in 1.8% dip in operating profit
  • Plans for 1,000 UK stores by 2022 on track with 70 new sites scheduled for 2017
  • British-sourced products increase from 69% to 77% of total sales as suppliers vote Aldi best supermarket for compliance with industry code of practice 

Aldi, the 2016 Grocer of the Year and Britain’s lowest-priced[1] and fastest-growing[2] supermarket, has announced record results for its last financial year alongside a major new £300m investment in its UK stores.
Sales in the UK and Ireland reached £7.705bn in the year to 31st December 2015 (2014: £6.893bn), a year-on-year increase of 12%. During the same period, sales in the UK grocery sector grew by just 0.4%[3].
The performance, which equates to an extra £68m of sales every month, means Aldi has doubled revenues in just three years (2012: £3.891bn).
In 2015, the grocer attracted 761,000 new customers[4] in the UK, boosting market share by 15.3%[5] - the largest increase in the sector. Aldi’s share of the UK grocery market now stands at a record high of 6.2%[6].
Aldi said its strongest-performing categories included its premium tier of award-winning Specially Selected products, which enjoyed a sales increase of 20% in 2015 compared with 2014, fresh meat and fish (+23%), fresh produce (+18%) and its Exquisite wine range (+20%). Sales of its Mamia nappies grew by 29%, making it the UK’s second biggest-selling brand.
The supermarket, which operates 785 stores in the UK and Ireland, said its continued investment in quality was being recognised by consumers and the industry, with over 280 awards won this year – twice the rate of 2015. 
The business, which is privately-owned, also announced a landmark investment in its UK store portfolio over the next three years.
The new format includes newly-designed fixtures for beers, wines and spirits, fresh produce and baby and toddler, as well as a new food-to-go fixture. Each store will also benefit from a significant increase in chill space, underlining the growth of Aldi’s fresh ranges.
Other improvements include new in-store colours to signpost categories, signage focusing on quality, range and provenance, and product-specific lighting.
It is expected that over 100 stores will be refurbished in 2017 with elements already being introduced into new stores this year.
It said it would also open 70 new stores in the UK during 2017 – adding to its existing 659-strong portfolio - as part of its plan to reach 1,000 by 2022.
Matthew Barnes, Chief Executive Officer – Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “Aldi has continued to win the trust of millions of new customers thanks to a single, simple and unbroken promise – to provide the very best quality products at prices that cannot be beaten. This explains our performance and underpins our investment. 
“More recently, we’ve completed our largest-ever customer listening exercise, involving over 50,000 shoppers across our stores and via our Like Aldi Tell Aldi online portal. The overwhelming message was clear: our customers love the quality of our products, our commitment to low prices and the efficiency of our stores, but they want to shop our fresh produce, fresh meat and fish, food-to-go and award-winning wines more easily.
“We’ve listened and we’re evolving our format for new and existing stores to deliver this, while staying true to our core principle of efficiency.”
The supermarket, which renewed its sponsorship of Team GB to 2020 earlier this year, said it had also continued to increase the number of products sourced from British suppliers, which accounted for 77% of total sales last year (2014: 69%). All of Aldi’s core range of fresh meat, eggs, milk, butter, cream and bakery are now British-sourced.
The business was also ranked the best-performing supermarket for compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice for the third year running, following a survey of over 1,000 food and drink suppliers by industry watchdog, the GCA.
Matthew Barnes added: “Our promotion of British-sourced products, our relationships with British suppliers and our support for Team GB demonstrate our pride in Britain and our commitment to providing the very best quality British food.
“At the same time, we continue to deliver on our promise that whenever you shop at Aldi, you are paying the lowest prices in grocery. That is true today and it always will be.”
Last year, the business invested £536.2m of capital expenditure in opening new stores and improving its distribution network in the UK and Ireland, bringing total investment over the past five years to £1.662bn. 
Aldi said its future capital expenditure plans are unaffected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The group will continue to make substantial investments to enhance its operations across the UK. These include enlarging two existing distribution sites, redeveloping its UK head office in Atherstone, Warwickshire, and opening a new distribution centre in Cardiff early next year.    
The group said its ongoing investment in price was made possible by the continuing strength of its balance sheet, which had net assets of £2.077bn at the end of 2015.
Operating profits fell 1.8% to £255.6m in 2015 (2014: £260.4m), which Aldi said reflected its continued investment in prices. So far this year the supermarket has cut prices on 30% of its products.
Matthew Barnes concluded: "We’re doing what I have always said we would do – investing our margin to maintain a significant price advantage over our competitors, keeping Aldi the lowest-price supermarket in Britain with outstanding quality products.
“This is the secret behind the bond we enjoy with our customers and it is why people keep coming back to Aldi, time and again. Regardless of what competitors may say or do, our price advantage will be maintained and our customers will always pay the lowest grocery prices in the UK.
“During the past five years we have invested close to £1.7bn in the UK by opening more stores than any other supermarket and enhancing our distribution capabilities. Our future capital expenditure plans are unchanged – we will continue to make significant investments in our business - paying our employees more than any other supermarket, treating our suppliers fairly and delighting our customers daily with outstanding quality products at unbeatable prices.”  
[1] The Grocer 33, published 11th August 2016
[2] Kantar Worldpanel data, 12 weeks to 11th September 2016
[3] Kantar Worldpanel data, 52 weeks to 3 January 2016
[4] Kantar Worldpanel data, 52 weeks to 3 January 2016
[5] Kantar Worldpanel data, 52 weeks to 3 January 2016
[6] Kantar Worldpanel data, 12 weeks to 11 September 2016
For further information:
Chris Hopper
T: 0161 235 0317
M: 07740 936 746
Mark Lester
T: 0161 235 0302
M: 07540 047 832
[1] The Grocer 33, published 11th August 2016
[2] Kantar Worldpanel data, 12 weeks to 11th September 2016
[3] Kantar Worldpanel data, 52 weeks to 3 January 2016
[4] Kantar Worldpanel data, 52 weeks to 3 January 2016
[5] Kantar Worldpanel data, 52 weeks to 3 January 2016
[6] Kantar Worldpanel data, 12 weeks to 11 September 2016

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