Premium lines provide festive cheer for Aldi, the UK’s fastest growing supermarket, says GlobalData

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Following today’s release of Aldi Christmas 2018 figures for the seven days ending December 23, Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments: ‘‘Discounter titan Aldi has kicked off this year’s Christmas results from the supermarkets in fine (albeit expected) form, with sales in the week leading up to Christmas Eve up 10% on 2017 and contributing to nearly £1bn sales for the month of December. Aldi’s premium Specially Selected and Exquisite lines continued to drive sales, although alcohol also performed well, with 3.2m glasses of wine, champagne and prosecco being sold per day.

“But although the headline numbers shout success, the tide may slowly be turning on Aldi’s triumphant march of growth. The retailer has only unveiled its results for the final week before Christmas, and while certainly a crucial period, hints at slightly weaker growth throughout the rest of the month. And as Aldi’s UK store portfolio increased by 8.5% year-on-year (opening its 800th store in Q4 2018), like-for-like sales are probably not as pleasing as it would have hoped. Despite this, Aldi have restated its aim of 1,200 UK stores by 2025, and will continue to soak up customers from other major grocers looking to save money on food expenditure.

“For 2019, Aldi’s plan is a simple one: continue to open stores to reach new customers (70 planned for 2019 after 65 opened in 2018), continue to tweak the proposition to retain the current ones, and let harsher economic conditions continue to drive customers out of traditional grocers into its stores. Its only concern should be the availability of new locations (with Lidl also on the lookout for similarly-sized properties) and the potential for over-reliance on those new stores to generate sales growth.”