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Retail

Aldi UK, Lidl GB Report Record Christmas Sales

By Reuters
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Aldi UK, Lidl GB Report Record Christmas Sales

The British arm of Aldi reported an 8% rise in sales in the four weeks to December 24 to top £1.5 billion (€1.73 billion) for the first time, while its smaller rival Lidl GB posted an even better 12% increase in the same period.

Both chains said they recorded their busiest ever day of trading on Friday, December 22, with more than 2.5 million customers coming through the doors of Aldi on the day.

The two German-owned retailers are Britain's fastest growing supermarkets, according to market research firm Kantar, and they plan to open hundreds of new stores.

Shoppers have turned to the discount chains as the cost of food and drink in Britain surged by 27% in the last two years.

Overall inflation has eased, but food and drink prices in November were still more than 9% higher than a year earlier, according to government data.

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Lidl GB said around 4.5 million more people shopped at its stores in December than a year earlier.

'Incredibly Proud'

CEO Ryan McDonnell said he was "incredibly proud" of Lidl's performance in its busiest ever trading period, highlighting an 11% rise in sales of its Deluxe premium range.

Aldi UK and Ireland's CEO Giles Hurley said the chain would continue to offer simple, clear prices on every product.

"As we look ahead to 2024, our promise to customers is that they will always make significant savings on every shop with Aldi, because we have the lowest grocery prices in Britain," he said on Tuesday.

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Aldi ranked fourth with a 9.6% share of the market in the 12 weeks to November 26, trailing Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, Kantar data showed. Lidl was sixth, with a 7.8% share.

Market leader Tesco will update on Christmas trading on Jan. 11, a day after Sainsbury's.

Analyst Viewpoint

Commenting on Aldi UK's performance, Tash Van Boxel, retail analyst at GlobalData, said, "Aldi’s expansion plans, where it intends to open 500 more stores over the next few years, in addition to its promise of price drops in 2024, will put the discounter in a strong position to continue to grow its market share this year. Indeed, Aldi’s market share is expected to have risen by 1.1ppts to 8.4% in 2023, according to GlobalData.

"Though food inflation is predicted to drop in 2024, falling to 3.9% for the year, easing the burden on shoppers, Aldi’s low prices will ensure that it retains appeal among existing customers and encourages even more shoppers to switch.”

Additional reporting by ESM

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