Aldi and Lidl’s festive sales trounce British arch rivals

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GERMAN discount grocers Aldi and Lidl reported “record” trading in the UK over Christmas, heaping the pressure on rivals Tesco, Asda and Morrisons.

Aldi said it recorded its busiest Christmas since opening in Britain over two decades ago and Lidl said it had seen its best performance to date over the festive period.

Aldi, which has around 40 stores in Yorkshire, said a record number of customers visited its stores in the run-up to Christmas.

“We had our busiest Christmas since opening in the UK and planned for this by doubling the size of our Christmas range, increasing stock levels and offering even more exclusive products,” said a spokesman.

Lidl, which has around 50 stores in Yorkshire, said 2013 had been the most successful year in its history.

Analysts believe the pair enjoyed like-for-like sales increases of up to 20 per cent over last year as hard-up shoppers went in search of bargains.

Such an increase will 
knock its rivals into the shade, with Tesco’s like-for-like sales expected to fall by as much as 2.5 per cent and Sainsbury’s battling to stay in like-for-like sales growth.

Aldi is posed to launch a new advertising campaign that claims that shoppers can save an average of £28 per week if they switch over to it.

Aldi said that its most popular festive lines included fresh lobster tails, free-range turkey and mince pies.

“Record numbers of customers visited Aldi as they realised they could get all the festive trimmings at Aldi, while cutting the cost of Christmas and not the celebrations,” said a spokesman.

Lidl said its fresh British turkeys sold out on Christmas Eve and its Comte de Brismand Champagne Brut was the top seller in value terms in the week before Christmas.

Asda said on Monday it enjoyed a good performance at Christmas both in store and online, but it will not release figures until February 20.

Morrisons will update the market on festive trading on January 20.

The Bradford-based firm is hoping its online launch in the Midlands on Friday will help it to catch up with rivals.

All 750 slots are already sold out.

It will launch the service in Leeds and Bradford next month.