Aldi is to start selling its popular bargain wine online, in a retail offensive designed to attract new customers and further eat into the sales of the big supermarkets.
The German discounter said that it would offer cases of wine to internet shoppers early next year, followed by “special buy” non-food products. It means that shoppers in England, Wales and Scotland, could have, for example, cases of Castellore Italian red, at £2.99 a bottle, delivered to their doors.
City analysts suggested that the service would be particularly popular among the affluent customers who shopped at Aldi, but did not like to admit it.
In a sign of how far Aldi has “disrupted” British grocery shopping habits, the retailer is on track to open its first store in Chipping Norton, in the affluent Oxfordshire constituency of David Cameron, next year.
Aldi, which reported yesterday a record £6.9 billion of sales last year, has for some time been garnering a reputation for selling good quality wine at cheap prices that has won over increasing numbers of middle-class customers.
It said that last year 1.4 million new shoppers spent money in an Aldi store, helping to boost its sales by more than 30 per cent. The impressive growth led to the decision to launch the online service and to speed up its store expansion programme. Aldi already has 598 stores in the UK but has pledged to open “an Aldi in every town in Britain” and aims to have 1,000 stores by 2022.
Matthew Barnes, the chief executive of Aldi UK & Ireland, said that 25 years after the German retailer entered the British marketplace, it was now the fastest growing supermarket in the country. “Over the years we have received hundreds of letters from customers who said that they would shop from Aldi online if they could,” he explained. “We will continue to scale up our store network but we want to offer a proposition to shoppers who don’t have an Aldi store near by.”
Mr Barnes said that online sales of wine would be followed later next year with the online promotion of Aldi’s non-food “special buy” items.