Buoyed by its stellar success, Aldi has vowed to double in size to 1,000 stores in the next seven years.
Speaking after Aldi was crowned The Grocer of the Year for the second year at The Grocer Gold Awards this week, joint GMD Matthew Barnes said Aldi planned to accelerate store openings from 50 to 65 stores a year from next year. If it achieves that rate of growth every year it will hit 1,000 stores by 2021.
“For the foreseeable future, 65 new stores a year is not out of the question,” said Barnes. “We think 1,000 stores is an absolute possibility.”
Aldi is also working on plans to upgrade its existing stores to boost sales and steal more customers from the supermarkets.
“We want a better quality network, so we have been building extensions and bigger car parks,” said joint GMD Roman Heini. “In some locations we have been victims of our own success and that might create bottlenecks in car parks, or the tills, or on the shop floor. So we try and address that at the same time. That way we have more [sales] momentum coming from our existing stores as well.”
The latest Kantar Worldpanel figures showed a year-on-year sales uplift of 35.9% for the 12 weeks ending 25 May 2014 for Aldi.
By contrast, Tesco’s sales fell 3.1% and Morrisons’ sales were down 3.9%.
“Customers are coming to us more and more, even in light of the price war being peddled by the media,” explained Barnes. “Our competitors are fighting harder but so are we.”
“We are more than happy to fight that battle on price,” agreed Heini. “We won’t be beaten on price and that will continue. It’s very simple.”