Aldi has introduced baskets into all its UK stores, following repeated requests from customers on Facebook.

The discounter said it had taken the decision after customers bombarded its Facebook page requesting an alternative to full-sized trolleys. Customers also said they had avoided small shopping trips to Aldi because the lack of baskets meant they were forced to ‘juggle’ their way to the till.

The move comes despite Aldi previously insisting that not offering baskets helped it keep prices down. Its UK website still reads: “To have both baskets and trolleys only adds to the costs, which leads to higher prices. Trolleys are easier.”

Recent trials of baskets have been scuppered by light-fingered customers. One store in Hamilton, which received 100 baskets last October, reportedly had 98 stolen in a fortnight.

However, the rollout has been well received on Facebook. A thread dedicated to the new baskets has already been ‘liked’ by more than 1,000 Aldi customers, while 200 have left positive comments, ranging from “About time!” to “Good, I never just pop into Aldi as I don’t always have £1 for the trolley”.

The rollout is a further indication of shoppers swapping supermarkets for the discounters - but demanding similar facilities to the ones they left behind. Aldi shoppers have already used the same Facebook thread on baskets to request other improvements, including separate tills for five items or under and self-scan tills.

Meanwhile, Aldi has continued to grow its presence in the UK grocery market as the economic climate worsens. Latest Kantar Worldpanel figures revealed Aldi sales were up 27.9% in the 12 weeks to 5 April, helping it claim a record market share of 2.7%. Lidl has seen sales rise by 11.1% and now has 2.8% of the market.