Third pay rise in 12 months for Aldi shop staff

Discount retailer Aldi has announced a further pay rise for its store employees in the UK, taking the starting rate to a minimum of £11.40 per hour nationally, and £12.85 within the M25.

It’s the company’s third pay rise in the past year and comes amid labour shortages and high inflation.

The £11.40 per hour starting rate, effective from 1 July 2023, is more than 13% higher than it was a year ago.

The new rates are also higher than the Real Living Wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation, which currently stands at £10.90 per hour nationally and £11.95 inside the M25.

Depending on length of service, staff can earn up to £12.30 per hour nationally and £13.15 in Greater London.

More than 28,000 store employees will benefit from the pay rise, which comes after the retailer’s 7,000 warehouse workers received pay increases earlier this year.

CEO Giles Hurley said that Aldi was “pleased to become the first UK supermarket to pay a minimum of £11.40 per hour to all store assistants”.

The supermarket expects to create 6,000 new jobs this year as it expands its UK store network.

Aldi joins ‘big four’ as UK shoppers look to save money

Aldi has overtaken Morrisons to become the fourth-biggest supermarket in the UK.

Research firm Kantar said that as living costs rise, consumers are shopping around by visiting more stores and this is benefiting the discounters.

In the 12 weeks to 4 September 2022 Aldi’s sales rose by 18.7% and the chain reached a market share of 9.3%, making it the country’s fourth largest supermarket for the first time. Meanwhile Lidl saw its sales grow by 20.9% and its market share increased to 7.1%.

A decade ago, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons together accounted for over three-quarters of the sector but that traditional “big four” is no more, said Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt.

Tesco is still well ahead of its rivals with a market share of 26.9% after a 1.9% boost to sales, while Sainsbury’s is in second place with 14.6% of the market followed by Asda on 14.1%.

Morrisons, now in fifth place, holds 9.1% of the market.

Kantar’s data also revealed that grocery price inflation hit 12.4% in August, a new record. It means that the average annual grocery bill will increase by £572 if shoppers don’t make changes to what they buy and how they shop to cut costs.

UK inflation reached a four-decade high of 10.1% in July and the Bank of England has said that it expects the UK to fall into recession at the end of this year, continuing until early 2024.

Aldi trials online ordering to compete with rivals

Aldi is trialling a new click and collect service as it adapts to the UK’s change in grocery shopping habits since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

UK online grocery sales grew by 77% year-on-year in the four weeks to 6 September 2020, taking the total increase in orders to £3.2bn since the start of lockdown, according to recent figures from Kantar.

The discount supermarket chain launched its click and collect service last week in one store and plans to extend it to 14 more stores in the next few weeks.

It’s part of a £1.3bn investment plan, under which the retailer will also open around 100 new stores across the UK and refurbish over 100 more stores. Other investments include new and expanded distribution centres.

Aldi has pledged to create a further 4,000 new jobs next year, adding to the 3,000 permanent roles already created in 2020.

Giles Hurley, Aldi’s UK chief executive, has said he is confident that click and collect can be expanded across the business.

Online ordering now represents 12.5% of all grocery sales in the UK and the shift to online is likely to be permanent, Adam Leyland, editor of trade magazine The Grocer, told the BBC.

“You can’t be complacent because as a retailer you have to give the customer what they want,” he said.

Aldi to launch online shopping site for fine wines by the case

Discount retail chain Aldi has revealed that it plans to introduce a new online shopping site for wine for home delivery or for collection from third party locations in early 2016.

It was announced on Monday that the company’s online wine shop will be followed by the launch of non-food Specialbuys in Spring 2016. Aldi Specialbuys include electrical, baby& toddler essentials, camping and clothing, along with gardening or DIY products, which are only available for a limited time.

Aldi currently operates 598 stores in the UK and expects to open 65 new stores this year. Although its operating profits fell to GBP260.3m from GBP271.4m in the 12 months to 31 December 2014 partly due to price cut, the UK’s sixth biggest supermarket achieved record annual sales in 2014, when its sales rose 31% to GBP6.9bn, in comparison to GBP5.27bn in the previous year.

Matthew Barnes, CEO of Aldi UK, reportedly stated that the company would not necessarily start selling food online, but said that “I wouldn’t say it’s inevitable. Wine by the case and non-food is the most viable place for us to start.

“We wouldn’t do anything to endanger our model or threaten our cost base.”

Barnes added: “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.”

Shoppers prefer bargain stores Aldi and Lidl

For the first time ever, budget stores Aldi and Lidl have beaten Marks and Spencers in an annual supermarket satisfaction report. Thanks to the appeal of their low prices and special offers.


A survey conducted by consumer group Which? revealed that for the third year running members placed Waitrose in first place, scoring 83 per cent praising both staff and products.


However, the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – failed to impress customers in comparison to Aldi and Lidl which came in second and third place, with Marks and Spencer’s falling to fourth place.


The budget stores were praised by customers for value and quality of fresh produce, one shopper involved in the survey said: “I’m a new Aldi shopper and it’s surpassed all expectation”.


The lowest joint score given went to Tesco and the Co-operative with a source of 46 per cent.


The Co-operative were awarded only two of out five stars on a range of subjects, which included customer service, own brand products and store environment.


A spokesman for the Co-operative said: “Clearly we are disappointed by these results, but we are working hard to modernise the business and are investing heavily in improving all aspects of our offer, including product quality and availability”.


Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: “The tough economy and rising food prices have seen cash-strapped consumers heading to the discounters for their low prices and special offers”.


“Aldi and Lidl have climbed to second and third place this year, overtaking Marks and Spencer. And this doesn’t mean compromising on taste, as our tests show they sell a range of products that compete with the premium brands”.


A spokesman for Tesco said: “We’re disappointed and a little surprised by these results”.


“They don’t tally with our own measures of customer satisfaction on our experience in talking to some of the millions of people who shop in store and online with us every week”.


“We want to keep our customers happy and invest hugely in doing so, by offering great value, providing excellent quality products and by constantly developing new products and service to meet changing customer service demand”.


Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh