Aldi is planning to roll out a click and collect service and invest £1.3bn in new stores and jobs after posting rising sales during the coronavirus pandemic.
The budget supermarket chain said on Monday it would open 100 new UK stores and hire an extra 4,000 staff by the end of next year. Aldi also plans to upgrade existing stores and distribution centres.
Revenues rose 8 per cent to £12.3bn in 2019 while profits soared 49 per cent to £271.5m. So far this year sales are up at least 10 per cent, Aldi’s UK and Ireland chief executive Giles Hurley said.
Aldi and its rival in the discount groceries market, Lidl, have not seen sales increase as much as some of their rivals during the pandemic.
Neither has a full-scale online shopping service, something that both are now trying to remedy.
Earlier this month Aldi began offering click and collect from one of its stores in the Midlands, with plans to roll out the service to 14 more locations over the next few weeks. Mr Hurley said he was “very, very confident” that the pilot could be scaled up.
Customers’ online orders must be at least £25, and the service costs between £3.99 and £4.99 per shop.
In May, Aldi announced a partnership with Deliveroo to transport food to people’s doors for the first time.
The service, which costs £4.99, offers rapid deliveries across 300 Aldi products in Cambridge, the East Midlands, London and Greater Manchester.
Aldi has not yet sought to offer a full online shopping and home delivery option.
Competitors including Tesco and Morrisons have cut prices this year as they aim to slow Aldi and Lidl’s rapid growth in market share.
Mr Hurley claimed Aldi’s prices remain 20 per cent lower than the UK grocery market and pledged to keep them down.
“If our competitors drop their prices then we will simply drop them lower,” he told reporters.
“We see it as a compliment that our competitors are treating our pricing as a benchmark but we will continue to be the cheapest grocer in the UK, whatever they do.
“We can’t speculate on what the inflationary impact of Brexit will be, but we will continue our commitment to have the lowest prices.”