Aldi has opened a jam-packed week of supermarket Christmas trading updates with some positive numbers as it raked in sales of almost £1billion in December.
The UK arm of the fast-growing German discounter said it enjoyed its best ever festive period, with the jump in sales driven by demand for its premium ranges.
In a sparse trading update, Aldi pointed out that the week of December 17 was its busiest, during which sales rose 10 per cent year-on-year.
It said too that shoppers snapped up 17 million bottles of fizzy wine and 50 million mince pies last month.
Winner: The week of December 17 was its busiest as sales rose 10% compared to last year
Not all supermarkets are expected to issue as positive results as the cut-price insurgent over the all-important festive period.
Waitrose is predicted to be the biggest festive loser, while Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are expected to be neck-and-neck when they reveal Christmas results on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
The discounters, Aldi and its main rival Lidl, have been winning customers from the UK’s big four supermarkets in recent years as their low prices and unique ranges draw in cash-strapped and curious Brits.
Aldi is now the fifth biggest supermarket in the UK with an 7.6 per cent share of the whole market, according to the latest industry data.
The retailer, which opened its 800th UK store in 2018, plans to expand further in the coming years to reach 1,200 shops by 2025.
Aldi said the Christmas sales rise was partly driven by its premium range products
Aldi UK chief executive Giles Hurley said: ‘Although we saw strong growth across all key categories, the standout performance was in our Specially Selected brand where shoppers treated themselves to premium products for a fraction of the price they would have paid elsewhere for similar quality products.’
Analyst Neil Wilson at Markets.com commented: ‘In the closely watched retail sector in the UK, some good numbers out of Aldi this morning can be read two ways.
‘On the one hand they could be a concern for the big supermarkets if it suggests more market share loss. On the other, it could just be that the Christmas trading period was a good one. I’d probably see the glass half full for now.’