After seeing revenues rise 30.7 percent in 2014, but operating profits slip 4 percent, Aldi plans to launch an e-commerce site in 2016 in the U.K.
The German grocer plans to start selling wine by the case online in early 2016, with special buys in nonfoods to follow in the spring, RetailWeek reported. The e-commerce site will offer home delivery and click-and-collect options for "third party locations."
Aldi's sales were up to £6.89 billion last year and the retailer has an estimated 9,600 locations, including a significant presence in the U.S., where it plans to open 650 new stores by the end of 2018. Its parent company owns the popular Trader Joe's chain.
The e-commerce launch is part of the company's "long-term growth and investment strategy in the U.K.," the company said. Aldi has 598 stores in the U.K. and plans to expand to 1,000 locations by 2022.
"Our launch online is another exciting chapter in our story," said Matthew Barnes, head of Aldi's U.K. and Ireland operation. "This will enable us to introduce the Aldi brand and some of our best-selling, best-quality and best-value products to thousands more customers across the U.K."
The launch comes shortly after Ben Hulme, head of beer and wine at Lidl, said that the company may launch wine sales online. Lidl is a chief rival of Aldi's which is also making inroads into the U.S. market. This signals more competition for online grocery sellers in the U.K. at a time when Amazon is also set to launch its Fresh operation in the region.
Aldi now has a 5.6 percent market share in the U.K. and is the sixth largest supermarket there.
"Our focus on offering the best-quality products and range at unbeatable, straightforward prices is bringing more and more shoppers through our doors, helping us to achieve consistent market-leading growth in sales," Barnes said.
"As the grocery market continues to evolve, our unique model, operational efficiency, private ownership and financial strength mean we're able to keep investing in our business—from people and presence to products and prices."
-See this RetailWeek article
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