Aldi to invest £1.3 billion and create 2,000 new roles
Aldi has committed to investing £1.3 billion over the next two years as part of plans to accelerate its share of the UK grocery market.
This will include creating more than 2,000 new jobs in 2022 and the opening of 100 new stores across the UK over the next two years. The supermarket will also expand its logistics infrastructure by launching a new 1.3 million square foot site in Leicestershire.
In addition, Aldi is investing in its click and collect service and new technology to speed up growth. This will include the trial of a new checkout-free concept store in Greenwich, which will use a system of cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to identify the items customers take from shelves and remove the need for them to pay at a till.
In its annual trading update, Aldi said sales in the UK and Ireland grew by 10.2% to a record £13.5 billion in the year to 31 December 2020. However, pre-tax profit edged down 2.5% to £264.8 million following the supermarket’s continued investment in price and the cost of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Giles Hurley (pictured), chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “Whilst 2020 was an extremely challenging year, our 41,000 colleagues stepped up when it mattered most – their dedication to the communities they serve has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite some of the most difficult conditions our sector has ever seen, our people underlined the strength, success and spirit of our business.
“As well as delivering record sales, we continued to invest for growth, deploying over £600m in stores and distribution centres across the UK. This helped to create thousands of much-needed jobs and support for British farmers and manufacturers.
“Whilst the cost of responding to the pandemic dampened profits, our decision to return business rate relief was the right thing to do.”
“We’re continuing to gain even more customers – with over 60% of households shopping with Aldi in the last year. By redefining the discount supermarket in the UK, creating more places and more ways to shop with us, we are excited to provide millions of new customers with access to Aldi’s award-winning quality and unbeatable value.”
Operating over 920 UK stores, Aldi said it spent an extra £1 billion with UK suppliers last year as part of its commitment to buy British wherever possible.
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