Aldi has announced it is to create a further 4,000 new jobs next year, adding to the 3,000 permanent roles set in 2020.
The value grocer pledged to invest £1.3bn by 2021 with new and upgraded stores, distribution centres and further innovations across its business.
The plan is to open 100 new sites in line with its long-term target of 1,200 stores by 2025, alongside over 100 store upgrades under its ‘Project Fresh’ initiative.
The German discounter, which has been in the UK since 1990, also reported annual results for 2019, with the sales in the UK and Ireland up 8% to £12bn as customers numbers rose to 17.6mln from 16.6mln over the year.
Operating profit surging 49% to £291.2mln as the group, which reported a drop in profits the previous year, said margins improved as efficiencies of scale offsetting continued investment in prices.
“With the UK’s economic outlook increasingly uncertain, families are more concerned about their grocery bills than ever,” said Giles Hurley, chief executive for Aldi UK and Ireland. “We’ve seen before that our customers need us most in times of financial hardship, which is why our commitment to remain Britain’s lowest-priced supermarket is more important than ever.”
"Aldi has been behind the curve on online but it’s now pivoting its model to click and collect and also trialling a delivery service with Deliveroo, both developments which will be key to sustaining its growth given the grocery shift to digital sales," noted Susannah Streeter, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
"Aldi now has an 8% share of the UK grocery market, in fifth position, just ahead of the Co-op and by making this investment into expanding its workforce, it’s clearly hoping to leapfrog Morrisons and eventually jostle for pole position against Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco."
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