The retailer has been buoyed by the customers’ response, who have flocked to them in the midst of the recessionary environment, and driven up the underlying profit by five times last year. In 2011, Aldi opened 29 stores in UK, and is looking at opening 40 more by the end of 2013 at a cost of £181m. With the new store, Aldi will then have more than 500 stores in the country, and would have created 4,500 jobs.
Roman Heini, UK joint managing director, told Financial Times that Aldi is aiming to open 35-40 stores each year after 2013, and within the next ten years, their store count could go up to 1,000.
It remains to be seen how other UK retailers respond to Aldi’s move, as they have been hit hard by the economic downturn and have lost customers to Aldi. The German retailer is counted amongst one of the fastest growing supermarkets chain in UK, and reported a 29.4% rise in sales to £2.76bn in the year that ended on December 2011.
This has been a spectacular turn-around for Aldi, which had to write off more than £58.5m on property the year earlier. The retailer has managed to score a profit of £57.8m post-tax.