Aldi Ireland is investing in the fresh products segment across its network of stores with a 40% increase in chiller space to accommodate the surge in demand across the category, including the fruit and vegetables.
Aldi has been trialling its “Future Stores” concept in recent months across its Irish network and is now ready to start phasing in the idea – to put more emphasis on fresh food “earlier in the shopping journey” as well as increasing the amount of space for chilled items.
As part of the €60 million (£52.6million) investment, shoppers will be “greeted” by fruit and vegetables displays which will be moved to the very front of the supermarket.
There will also be improvements to signage and point-of-sale displays.
The discounter has doubled its fresh produce range over the last three years, now selling more than three million units of fresh fruit and vegetables every week.
Aldi’s “Super 6” range of heavily discounted fruit and vegetable has become a popular feature among shoppers looking for bargain-priced produce.
And the retailer has also extended its organic fruit and vegetable range, which includes carrots, apples, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and more, by 400% since 2014. Prices start from 99c.
“This is about delivering a more premium shopping experience for the customer,” says Aldi group managing director UK and Ireland Giles Hurley.
“We have been the fastest growing retailer in Ireland for most of the past 10 years and have won the trust of so many customers. We’re now taking stock for the future and making sure we have the right offering – with a major emphasis on fresh food.”
Hurley adds how the early feedback from stores which have already been converted is positive.
“We know we’re making the right move,” he adds.
“We are just in the process of finalising exactly what the new concept will look like, but people should expect to see changes in their store over the next couple of years.”
Aldi also wants to promote its provenance by stressing that over the last five years it has recruited more than 70 new Irish suppliers, bringing its total amount of Irish partners, across all sections, to 175 producers.
This means that over 50% of Aldi’s supplier spend is now with Irish suppliers, producers and manufacturers.