The German-headquartered firm, which says it has been found by research firm Kantar to be the third-largest retailer in Scotland by volume, explains that the latest expansion comes after it this year invested £24m in creating two stores in Aberdeen and one in Broxburn, creating 150 jobs, and bringing its total branches north of the Border to 104.
The organisation, which now has 3,500 employees in Scotland, added that in addition to the new stores earmarked, it has committed £5m of the total investment to upgrading its existing stores under its Project Fresh initiative, saying the new layout offers increased space for its Scottish range, including fresh meat and fish, bread and cakes plus beers and spirits, as well as an improved Food to Go section. The grocery business will use the remaining £20m to prepare for the roll-out of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme, which will launch in August.
Aldi also stresses that it continues to support Scottish food and drink producers, at present working with more than 90 such firms, with 25 per cent of its range/450 products now locally sourced north of the Border. The business, which in October announced that it was creating 3,000 jobs ahead of the Christmas period, also points out that it was named the 2022 Scottish Sourcing Business of the Year at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.
Richard Holloway, regional managing director for Aldi Scotland, said: “2022 was an incredible year for Aldi Scotland, as we opened our 104th Scottish store and saw even more customers shop with us. As we look to the New Year, our growth plan continues to be realised, with more stores and further investment in Scotland to reach more customers than ever before. We understand the difficulties our customers are facing, and are delighted we can expand our offering in Scotland so more people can benefit from our... quality products, at unbeatable Aldi prices.’’
The supermarket chain also said it will continue to support its local community initiatives with the return of its Scottish Sports Fund which has, to date, donated more than £340,000 to local clubs. As well as donating surplus unsold food from its stores to foodbanks, community groups and charities year-round through its partnership with Neighbourly, it also noted that it has launched an Emergency Winter Foodbank Fund worth £250,000. Aldi, which also says it is Britain’s fifth-largest supermarket, with more than 960 stores and around 38,000 staff, in September pledged to prioritise lower prices over short-term profits – with its UK operations seeing pre-tax profits fall by 86.5 per cent year on year to £35.7m in 2021.
The news of its latest expansion comes after fellow German-owned budget supermarket chain Lidl in November revealed that profits at its UK arm had topped £41.1m in the year to February 28, from the £9.8m posted in the prior year, while revenues edged up by 1.5 per cent to reach £7.8 billion, and its portfolio had grown to about 100 stores across Scotland and roughly 920 across Britain.