Supermarket surge

World Cup and bargain shoppers lift sales at Aldi

Aldi is continuing to open stores

Discount supermarket group Aldi said its UK sales in December were up by 26% on the previous year as shoppers searched for cost of living bargains and football fans feasted on snacks during the winter World Cup.

Sales of £1.4 billion were also boosted by the opening of additional stores, helping the group to a market share of 9.3% and overtaking Morrisons to become Britain’s fourth largest supermarket chain.

It said sales of chilled desserts and fresh cheeses leapt by almost 30% and 50% respectively, while sales of snacks such as crisps and nuts were more than 40% higher during the FIFA World Cup.

“This year, Christmas was all about family and football as people came together to celebrate in a way we’ve not enjoyed for years,” said CEO Giles Hurley.

Aldi and fellow German rival Lidl have grown rapidly in Britain over the last decade, forcing the established major supermarkets – market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – to compete more aggressively on price.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s promise to match Aldi prices on key products and are scheduled to update on Christmas trading next week.

Aldi and Lidl are still opening lots of new stores. Aldi is opening two more in Scotland this year and is investing £35m north of the border.

However, investment in keeping prices low has impacted on profit at both Aldi and Lidl.

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