Aldi’s expansion desires just got real.
The German-based discount retail chain, which has risen to become the fourth largest supermarket here, has created what it calls a National Real Estate Team in a quest to grow exponentially in the UK.
Aldi plans to open 500 additional stores as it seeks out store space on the edges of towns or freehold town-centre spots that can accommodate 1.5 acres.
Jonathan Neale, who spent time as a Real Estate Director earlier in his 21-year Aldi career, is Managing Director of the new team.
“This year we opened our landmark 1,000th store and we have the most ambitious expansion plans of any major supermarket,” Neale said. “Centralising our Real Estate Team and making it easier for the real estate sector to deal with Aldi is the first step in accelerating progress towards our goal of opening a further 500 new stores. We have clear, consistent requirements and want to partner with land-owners, landlords and developers.”
Aldi has been expanding over the past five years but in relative dribs and drabs. But the formation of the team should help accelerate the scheme as it looks to build out 200 new locations in London and the South East, as well as branch out from Glasgow to Worthing. Those sites typically are 20,000 square feet with 100 or so parking spaces.
Notwithstanding its desire to build out, Aldi and rival Lidl have become surprise heavyweight challengers to the bigger supermarket chains in the UK because of their deep discounting practises. It will be intriguing to see whether they will continue to gain ground over the next few years, especially if economic conditions don’t improve.
“Listening to the sector, we know that our new national team will make it easier for people to work with us,” Neale said. “We are now set up to have the kind of agility needed to find and deliver the sites and schemes that will help us to bring our amazing quality and unbeatable value to every town and community in the country.”
Colliers will be national advisers to the Aldi team and is led by Greg Styles, Head of Retail Development and Advisory. The new Aldi National Real Estate Team can be contacted by NRE@aldi.co.uk.