Aldi has acquired five stores from The Co-operative Group as part of its ambitious store expansion plans.
The stores - in Immingham, Lincolnshire; South Norwood, London; Amesbury, Wiltshire; and Irlams O’ th’ Height and Standish in Greater Manchester - range in size from 11,200 to 18,000 sq ft and are expected to open as Aldi in 2015.
Aldi opened 42 stores in 2013 and aims to open 54 this year. Joint MDs Matthew Barnes and Roman Heini told The Grocer last month they wanted to have 1,000 stores by 2021 and planned to accelerate openings to 65 a year from 2015. On the newly acquired stores, Giles Hurley, Aldi MD of corporate buying, said: “Our growth is driven by the fact more and more shoppers are choosing Aldi for their main weekly shop, so it is important we open further stores that are accessible to customers across the UK.”
Latest grocery market share data from Kantar Worldpanel this week revealed Aldi grew sales by 32% in the 12 weeks to 20 July. It also increased its market share from 3.7% a year ago to 4.8% - just behind Waitrose’s market share of 4.9%.
The Co-op Group confirmed the stores would close in the autumn and their sale was part of its ongoing strategy to sell off larger stores to concentrate on convenience. According to the Grocery Retail Structure, it had 806 stores over 3,000 sq ft in the year to 31 March.
“We are continuing to invest in our estate of over 2,800 food stores and are looking to acquire 100 more by the end of 2014, and a further 150 stores in subsequent years,” a spokesman said. “As part of the investment programme in our food estate, one of the largest and most diverse in the UK, we will look to dispose of those trading outlets that do not align with our strategy, while continuing to grow our overall estate.”