Festive joy as Lidl becomes Britain's fastest growing supermarket

The chain has a target of 1,000 shops in the UK by the end of 2023. Picture: Michael Gillen
The chain has a target of 1,000 shops in the UK by the end of 2023. Picture: Michael Gillen
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Lidl has emerged as the UK’s fastest growing supermarket business over the festive period after the discount chain served up a double-digit hikes in sales.

The group, which along with fellow German-owned discounter Aldi has been aggressively building up its presence in Scotland, said overall sales rose by 11 per cent, year-on-year, during the four weeks to 29 December.

It claimed that British households had switched £110 million of spend to Lidl from all supermarkets, including arch-rival Aldi.

Bosses pointed to particularly strong growth across a number of categories, noting that wine had been a “real winner” during the Christmas rush, with 20 per cent growth over the last year.

Its best-selling wines were both under a fiver – a Rioja Joven and its Argentinian Malbec collectively sold the equivalent of 16,000 glasses an hour over the festive period.

Christian Hartnagel, Lidl GB chief executive, said: “This was our 25th Christmas since first opening our doors in Britain, and what a Christmas it’s been, with more customers shopping at Lidl than ever before.

“We continued to open our doors to more communities across the country, which has no doubt contributed to our success. However, the number of customers switching to us in the lead up to Christmas shows the continued appeal of the Lidl offer.”

Donations

For the second year in a row, the group also ran its Christmas food donation scheme. Lidl worked with Neighbourly to link its stores to local communities and donated some 250,000 meals to 1,500 local charities, food banks and community groups across the UK so they could host a Christmas meal.

It also continued to invest in its store portfolio during the festive period, forming part of the grocery chain’s £1.45 billion investment in its expansion across the UK in 2019 and 2020 and its target of 1,000 shops by the end of 2023.

Hartnagel added: “After more than doubling our market share over the past ten years, we’re excited to be entering a new decade and all the potential it brings for us.”

Earlier this week, Tesco – Britain’s biggest retailer – posted modest year-on-year growth in sales over the Christmas trading period while both Morrisons and Sainsbury’s revealed falling sales.

Aldi UK saw its festive sales top £1bn for the first time thanks to Brits snapping up 55 million mince pies over a boozy Christmas period.

UK sales in the four weeks to Christmas Eve topped £1bn for the first time in the company’s history, and marked a 7.9 per cent rise on the same period a year earlier.

As well as a record quantity of mince pies, shoppers bought 22 million pigs in blankets, and more than two million Christmas puddings.

READ MORE: Aldi to create 200 jobs and open six new Scottish stores