Thursday 16 August 2018

Aldi ploughs €1.2bn into Irish market since debut

Aldi currently has 129 stores in Ireland, as well as regional distribution centres in Naas and Mitchelstown. Stock image
Aldi currently has 129 stores in Ireland, as well as regional distribution centres in Naas and Mitchelstown. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

German retailer Aldi has invested more than €1.2bn in the Irish economy since it entered the market in 1999.

The figure is contained in a new report prepared by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) consultancy group and published by the shopping chain yesterday.

It is also estimated that Aldi contributed to the generation of more than €1bn to Ireland's gross domestic product (GDP) last year through job creation, buying goods and services from Irish suppliers, tax contributions and capital investment.

The report predicted that the figure will increase to €1.2bn per annum by 2020 as Aldi expands its footprint in Ireland.

The chain currently has 129 stores in Ireland, as well as regional distribution centres in Naas and Mitchelstown. It employs 3,200 people in Ireland, compared to 700 in 2005.

Last year, Aldi said it planned to open an additional 20 stores in Ireland by 2019, creating an additional 400 jobs in a €100m investment.

Aldi Ireland group managing director Giles Hurley said the chain now works with 175 Irish businesses, and spent more than €700m with them last year.

"The €1.2bn investment figure reflects both an upfront commitment but also the reinvestment of our profits here in Ireland," Mr Hurley said.

The latest figures from research group Kantar Worldpanel show that Aldi had an 11.5pc share of Ireland's multi-billion grocery market during the 12 weeks to August 13. That marked sales growth of 3.4pc for the period for the chain.

The market share in the period placed Aldi just behind German rival Lidl, which had a 12pc share based on the value of sales. By volume of sales, the two chains probably have among the biggest slices of the Irish grocery market.

The biggest retailer in Ireland's grocery market by value of sales is SuperValu, the chain that's controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group. It has a 22.2pc share of the market, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Aldi and rival Lidl are continuing a land-grab in Ireland, with Lidl planning to open as many as 48 more stores here over more than five years. Lidl currently has 152 stores in Ireland.

Aldi's average annual capital investment since 2005 has been €75m. The figure peaked in 2013, with a €114m capital spend.

The economic report prepared by CEBR also estimated that Aldi supports 12,150 jobs via direct and indirect employment here.

CEBR also estimated that Aldi helped contribute £8.5bn to the UK's GDP last year. The figure is set to rise to £11.5bn in 2022 as Aldi expands.

Irish Independent

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