Aldi is exploring the potential launch of a retail media network across all the markets in which it operates.

It has formed a ‘centre of excellence’ for the project, based in London, which will develop trials to inform “the development of a world-class media and advertising operation within the ever-changing grocery sector” according to a job listing.

It is understood work on the retail media network  is at an early stage, with the discounter recruiting media analysts and experts ahead of its “creation, launch and rollout”.

Aldi is currently seeking an international retail media analyst for the project. The appointee will report to Mark Hardy, who was promoted to the role of international retail media manager in November to lead what he described as a “super exciting project”.

A listing for the role says the successful candidate will be “shaping the strategy for the development of the Aldi Retail Media Proposition across online, in-store channels, and in multiple countries” as well as supporting the “design and execution of the go-to-market strategy for each country”.

Retail media has boomed in recent years, given its proximity to shoppers and the first-party customer data held by both online and physical retailers. The big four grocers now all boast dedicated media groups, as do the likes of Co-op, Boots, Superdrug, Deliveroo and others. Lidl owner Schwarz Group announced in 2022 a retail media effort, and last year opened advertiser access to its data. Margins can be as high as 80% on media advertising for the retailers, according to Boston Consulting Group.

Retail media was forecast to hit 25% growth last year in the UK, according to GroupM analysis. The sector grew 28% to £2.7bn in 2022, and is predicted to reach £6.5bn in value by 2027. According to WARC Media, global retail media ad spend grew 10.1% to $122bn last year, surpassing audio and streaming advertising, having achieved double-digit growth every year since 2014. It is expected to be the fastest-growing channel this year, too.

In a job description for a role on its retail media team, Aldi said it expected the network – which would cover both online and in-store channels – to “accelerate” the discounter’s recent growth.