CCTV images released in Workington shoplifting investigation

Cumbria police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection to a shoplifting incident that happened at a Workington supermarket.

CCTV image
Cumbria Police

Two paint sprayers, worth more than £300, were taken from Aldi on Derwent Drive at about 12:50 on Wednesday 11 September.

Aldi: 'Gritty rather than pretty'

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Wake Up To Money

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Aldi, the UK's fifth biggest supermarket, said on Monday it is going to open more than 100 news stores across the UK in the next two years, even though profits fell 18%.

Danielle Pinnington, a partner at retail consultant Shoppercentric, told BBC Radio 5 Live's Wake Up To Money, that among the reasons the profits were down is that the business had "invested a lot in new stores and that’s what’s been helping drive the continued growth.

"They've also had to invest in price cuts... They want a significant price gap from the 'big four'," she said, and as the likes of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have cut prices to respond to lower prices, Aldi has had to cut prices too.

Growth in the future is down to shoppers' appetite, ranges are much lower with 2,000 items rather than 40,000. The stores are "gritty rather than pretty" she added.

Aldi's 'growing pains'

Aldi store
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Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, says Aldi's latest results "show all the hallmarks of a dynamic business determined to grow market share at the expense of short-term profitability".

“While on the surface a drop in profits might be disappointing news for those who thought that increased profits at Aldi were becoming predictable, the increase in sales and the promise of further investment across its 840 UK branches mean that these appear to be ‘growing pains’ that show Aldi is determined not to rest on its laurels.

“The sum of £1bn is no small amount and keeping the target of 1,200 shops by the end of 2025 shows incredible ambition. But as with any expansion plan the question of whether it can draw enough footfall to fill those extra 360 stores is another question entirely.”

Aldi and halloumi...

Retail correspondent at the FT tweets:

Aldi 'incredibly positive'

New store opening

Aldi has published results showing an 11% rise in sales last year - although profits fell. The supermarket has also set out plans for rapid expansion and plans to open more stores in London.

Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at GlobalData, says the chain's outlook for 2019 is "incredibly positive".

"Brexit uncertainty is causing shoppers to look to save on essentials where possible through trading down, a trend that will only benefit the discounters.

"But in the long-term, there are some questions arising about the necessity of developing a 1,200 store network alongside such a seismic shift towards online shopping2.

He says there are forecasts that 9% on grocery shopping will be online and offers this caution about expansion into London: "For example, one unmistakable appeal of Aldi is its Specialbuys offer, but it has sacrificed this section in its Balham small-store format trial, and so Aldi should not expect to tempt shoppers away from rivals in London as easily as it has done elsewhere in the country."

Aldi: Brexit won't stop expansion

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Aldi to invest more in London

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Aldi to open more stores

outside an ALdi
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Aldi, the UK's fifth biggest supermarket, also says it is going to open more than 100 news stores across the UK in the next two years.

It has a target for 1,200 stores by the end of 2025 - it currently has just over 840 stores.

Giles Hurley, chief executive, said: “Whilst our expansion will continue to reach every part of the UK, we’re increasing our focus on London, where our market share is just 3.4%, compared to 8.1% nationally. London shoppers regularly tell us they would switch to Aldi if there was one nearby, so there is clearly a significant growth opportunity for us in the capital.”