Aldi has reported record sales for December as Christmas shoppers flocked to its stores.
The discount supermarket saw year-on-year UK sales increase by more than 15% during the final month of 2017.
This uplift pushed Aldi’s total sales in the UK and Ireland during 2017 beyond the £10bn barrier for the first time. Christmas sales were boosted by a surge in demand for Aldi’s premium Specially Selected products, with sales increasing by over 30% year-on-year during December.
Chief executive Matthew Barnes said: “This was our busiest-ever Christmas as millions of festive shoppers switched to Aldi from more expensive food retailers.
“Although we saw strong growth across all categories, the performance of our premium Specially Selected range in particular surpassed all expectations.
“This is a clear sign that shoppers knew they could indulge in Christmas treats and festive essentials at Aldi for a fraction of the price they would pay elsewhere.”
Following a bumper festive period, Aldi has also announced it will pay all Store Assistants a minimum hourly rate of £8.85 nationally and £10.20 in London from 1st February 2018, reaffirming its position as the UK’s highest paying supermarket. Aldi’s employee remuneration is further enhanced by the fact that it is one of the few supermarkets to pay employees for breaks.
Aldi also pledged to match the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended rates of £8.75 nationally and £10.20 in London for all of its employees from 1st February 2018.
Matthew Barnes added: “Our store colleagues are the cornerstone of our business. Without their hard work and dedication day in, day out, we would be unable to provide customers with the lowest grocery prices in the UK.”
Aldi added 76 new stores to its store estate during the last 12 months, bringing store numbers to 762 as part of its long-term strategy to have a network of 1,000 stores across the UK by 2022.
Looking to the year ahead, Matthew Barnes said: “We see significant capacity for further growth as there are still more than 400 towns and cities across the UK without an Aldi store.
“Shoppers in these areas consistently tell us they would shop at Aldi if they could, and we are committed to meeting this demand for new Aldi stores.”