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Global: Aldi could be considering online grocery launch amid US$ 1.8 bn digitalisation project

Discount Retail Chain Aldi Süd (privately owned) is rolling out a £1.3 billion (US$1.8Bn) digitalisation initiative across its vast international store estate as it continues to push into the online grocery space.

Aldi Süd, which has around 10,000 stores in 20 countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovania, Hungary, Italy, Australia, China, UK, Ireland and the US, is rolling out a globally standardised IT system across its store network. According to German grocery retail magazine 'Lebensmittel Zeitung', Aldi’s major investment is set to lay the groundwork for an effective e-commerce operation.

Part of its new “global transformation” project would be the creation of a uniform infrastructure for customer communication, covering internet channels and physical stores alike. This reportedly includes a globally standardised template for e-commerce, which Aldi only offers in a strictly limited capacity in the UK, despite huge demand for the service.

While Aldi UK and Aldi US have long been calling for the wider brand to introduce an online grocery option to meet this demand, managers at Aldi’s headquarters have fought back stating that online delivery could only be realised at a loss.

However, with the two national Aldi stores introducing click & collect options and delivery via third party companies like Deliveroo and Instacart, the discounter could now be reconsidering its position.

Aldi Süd told Lebensmittel Zeitung that the aim in e-commerce us “suitable and market-driven solutions for all countries of the Aldi Süd Group in order to be able to flexibly serve the omni-channel requirements from our markets”.

The grocer is also understood to be considering the rollout of a loyalty app to rival the recently launched “Lidl Plus” app. Aldi Süd's sister Aldi Nord will follow Aldi Süd in the second part of 2021 with the roll-out and implementation in Europe.

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