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Aldi to open a store a week

Published: 3 July 2008
Aldi has announced a massive UK expansion plan, which will see them open a store a week for "the foreseeable future".
Aldi managing director Paul Foley, confirmed the plans in an interview with The Grocer, saying that the company sees the credit crunch as an "opportunity" for the company as more people will turn to discount retailers if times get tougher. However, he added, "we would be growing anyway." He pointed to the German market as an example "In Germany discounters occupy more than 40% of the market. I can't think of any reason why that wouldn't happen here."

No one from Aldi was available for comment about the possible effects of the expansion on the diy, home and garden sector, but there is no doubt that diy, home and seasonal products are big business for Aldi.

Among a surprisingly broad array of products in store at the moment are a tabletop workbench for £12.99, four-piece G clamp set at £5.99, 15in pull saw for £5.99, orbital sander for £12.99 and a cast iron frypan for £14.99.

However, the impact for diy and home retailers is yet to be seen. Consumers are unlikely to view the discount supermarket as a destination store for diy goods, and products are only available for a short time and in quantities that aren't guaranteed. However, with a target of 1,500 British stores with 227 currently in the pipeline the possible effects cannot be ignored and may represent yet another revolution down the spiral of price competition.

Mr Foley said that the company is not targeting any specific part of the country and that all areas were "fair game", and the company's corporate property strategy supports this. It states" We have an ambitious investment and development programme. And that means we are always looking for sites with a catchment population of 10,000 and ideally situated on principal roads with main road frontage."


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