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UK: Aldi will not halt ‘relentless’ roll out of UK stores despite sabotage by rivals

Discount Retail Chain Aldi UK and Ireland boss Giles Hurley has said the discounter’s “relentless” expansion of new stores will not pause despite sabotage by supermarket rivals.

In October 2018, the German grocer set a target of having 1,200 UK stores by 2025. Hurley, chief executive, said a campaign of planning objections by rival grocers had delayed its expansion plans.

He said the objections came after an effort to “prevent” customers from switching to Aldi, The Telegraph reported. “We’re receiving more objections from our competition than we used to,” he said. “If you look at the price gap between Aldi and the more expensive traditional supermarkets it’s been very consistent for years and I guess one of the ways to try to prevent customers from taking advantage of that is to slow down or stop openings.” Aldi’s target to grow to 1,200 stores across the UK by 2025 required it to open 60 new supermarkets a year on average.

The company is currently running behind schedule, with Aldi on course to open 40 locations this year. Its 1,000th UK branch will open in the next few weeks. Hurley said the discounter may not reach its goal of opening 200 extra stores within the next two years after progress was “slowed by events outside of our control”.

Aldi’s new openings were also slowed down by planning red tape and shortages of building materials.

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