Aldi made almost £1bn of sales last month, making it the German discount supermarket’s best-ever performance over the all-important Christmas trading period.
The budget retailer, which commands a 7.6% share of the UK grocery market, said the sales growth was driven by “exceptional demand” for its premium ranges as well as an influx of festive customers who would usually shop at other, “more expensive” supermarkets.
“Our Christmas range was the largest and most innovative yet and caught the imagination of our customers, who visited our stores in record numbers,” said UK chief executive Giles Hurley.
“Although we saw strong growth across all key categories, the standout performance was in our Specially Selected brand where shoppers treated themselves to premium products for a fraction of the price they would have paid elsewhere for similar quality products.”
During December, Aldi sold more than 17mln bottles of wine, Champagne and Prosecco - equivalent to 3.2mln glasses per day. It also sold nearly 50mln mince pies and almost 100mln sprouts.
Slew of retailer updates due
Britain’s fourth-largest grocer, along with peers Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY) and Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS), is due to update on its Christmas performance later this week.
Those announcements are expected to confirm that their cheaper rivals are continuing to take market share from them.
Bradford-based Morrisons is fighting back though and said today it would cut an average of 20% from the prices of “store cupboard favourites” such as tinned tomatoes, cereal and ready meals.
Marketing director Andy Atkinson said: “We’re listening to customers who are telling us that their budgets will be stretched in January, so we are cutting every penny we can on the essentials that will help them feed their families.”
Tesco likely to best of ‘Big Four’
Aldi said it would look at the price changes but added that it was confident its stores “would still be cheaper to shop in”.
Speaking to the Guardian, a spokesman said: “We see this every January, and Morrisons is unlikely to be the last one to cut some specially chosen prices.”
Analysts expect Morrisons to post a 0.5% rise in sales on Tuesday, versus a forecast jump of 2.4% in overall food sales.
A small drop in sales is predicted at Sainsbury’s, while the City is speculating that Tesco could register a 1.5% Christmas sales rise.
Morrisons is up 1.5% to 219.0p, Tesco has soared 2.7% to 202.7p, while Sainsbury’s has added 2,.1% to sit at 201.6p. Marks & Spencer is also up by 1.8% to 257.7p.