Aldi UK and Lidl GB report record Christmas sales

LONDON (Reuters) -Aldi UK and Lidl GB reported record Christmas trading on Tuesday, with sales at Aldi rising 8% in the four weeks to Dec. 24 to top 1.5 billion pounds ($1.91 billion) for the first time, while its smaller rival posted an even better 12% increase.

Both chains said they recorded their busiest ever day of trading on Friday, Dec. 22, with more than 2.5 million customers coming through Aldi’s doors on the day.

The two German-owned retailers are Britain’s fastest growing supermarkets, according to market research firm Kantar, and they plan to open hundreds of new stores.

Shoppers have turned to the discount chains as the cost of food and drink in Britain surged by 27% in the last two years.

Overall inflation has eased but food and drink prices in November were still more than 9% higher than a year earlier, according to government data.

Lidl GB said around 4.5 million more people shopped at its stores in December than a year earlier.

CEO Ryan McDonnell said he was “incredibly proud” of Lidl’s performance in its busiest ever trading period, highlighting an 11% rise in sales of its Deluxe premium range.

Aldi UK and Ireland’s CEO Giles Hurley said the chain would continue to offer simple, clear prices on every product.

“As we look ahead to 2024, our promise to customers is that they will always make significant savings on every shop with Aldi, because we have the lowest grocery prices in Britain,” he said on Tuesday.

Aldi ranked fourth with a 9.6% share of the market in the 12 weeks to Nov. 26, trailing Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, Kantar data showed. Lidl was sixth, with a 7.8% share.

Market leader Tesco will update on Christmas trading on Jan. 11, a day after Sainsbury’s.

($1 = 0.7858 pounds)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Sachin Ravikumar and Jan Harvey)