Aldi, now the UK’s sixth largest supermarket, will begin offering British customers an online service next year – starting with wine by the case and non-food offers in spring.
The German discounter announced record annual sales for 2014 and, as it continues to take market share from the big four grocers, is now planning its launch into e-commerce.
Sales jumped 31% to £6.9bn in the 12 months to 31 December, compared with the £5.27bn the year before, although increased investments in “prices and people” were responsible for an £11.1m fall in operating profits, to £260.3m, the supermarket chain said.
The supermarket chain currently trades from 598 stores across the UK and is poised to open an additional 65 by the end of the year, with hopes to take the total to 1,000 by 2022. Both Aldi and competitor Lidl have been expanding aggressively recently, giving consumers cheap and cheerful alternatives to products and deals found in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. Today, half of UK households shop at either Aldi or Lidl.
For its online service, Aldi said home delivery and the option to collect from third party locations will be available.
"As the grocery market continues to evolve, our unique model, operational efficiency, private ownership and financial strength mean we're able to keep investing in our business - from people and presence to products and prices," said Matthew Barnes, Chief Executive of Aldi UK & Ireland.
There’s a growing trend of value retailers moving into multi-channel, with Poundland and Poundworld having made the decision earlier this year. Aldi has already overtaken Waitrose, and could be gearing up to push past online grocer Ocado in 2016.