Aldi pledges to keep prices lowest after bumper Christmas

·Business Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·3-min read
Aldi pledges to keep prices lowest after bumper Christmas
Giles Hurley, CEO of Aldi, said: 'As we look ahead, the top priority for most families this year will be managing their household budgets in the face of rising living costs.' Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Aldi has committed to offering customers the lowest prices throughout 2022 as it revealed its “best ever” Christmas sales.

Giles Hurley, chief executive of the discount supermarket chain, made the price pledge on Monday amid concerns surrounding the cost-of-living after UK inflation recently soared to a decade high.

“There’s no doubt that 2021 was a long and difficult year for lots of people, but our amazing colleagues stopped at nothing as they came together to deliver the Christmas that our customers deserved,” he said.

“As we look ahead, the top priority for most families this year will be managing their household budgets in the face of rising living costs.

He added: “As the cheapest supermarket in Britain, Aldi will always offer the lowest prices for groceries, no matter what, and continue to support our British farmers and producers.”

Read more: European markets fall as traders watch rising COVID cases and expected rate hikes

It came as Aldi saw sales rise by 0.4% last month compared to the same period the year before, thanks to a rise in demand for its premium product lines.

As well as increased sales for beer, wine and spirits in December, it sold more than 43 million mince pies in the run-up to the Christmas break, and 118 million Brussel sprouts, it said, with around half a million new shoppers in the month.

Aldi also cited figures from Kantar showing it was the "only major supermarket" to grow sales in December.

The grocer, which has 950 stores across the UK, is privately owned by the German company Aldi Sud. It is Britain’s fifth largest supermarket group with a 7.7% market share.

Aldi is looking to rapidly expand over the new year, with plans to open more than 100 new stores, and create around 2,000 jobs as part of the growth strategy.

“The Christmas shopping season is akin to the world cup for retailers and Aldi UK is on a winning streak, not just notching up record sales but attracting half a million new customers,” Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

“That’s no mean feat at a time when millions of consumers are facing an income squeeze, but it seems shoppers were determined to have a blow-out Christmas after the previous celebrations were dampened by lockdowns

Read more: UK business growth slows as Omicron cases rise

“Aldi is also likely to have benefited from the willingness to get out and shop in-person. It had suffered in the pandemic with a less sophisticated online operation. It’s since fine-tuned its multi-channel approach to selling, and combined with more store visits, it’s produced a record result.”

Rivals in the discount sector climbed higher in London on the back of the news, with B&M European Value retail (BME.L) up 1.2%, ahead of its numbers out tomorrow.

Tesco (TSCO.L) also saw its share price lift in early trading, up 0.9%. Marks and Spencer (MKS.L) shares rose 2% and Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) increased by around 1% amid expectations that they also benefited from the Christmas splurge.

Watch: What is inflation and why is it important?

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