Aldi Brushes Off Tesco Discount Stores as Imitation It Can Beat

(Bloomberg) -- German discount grocer Aldi Stores Ltd. vowed to cut its prices to remain the cheapest option in the U.K., saying it’s undaunted by new competition from Tesco Plc.

The explosive growth of Aldi and Lidl Ltd. has shaken up the U.K.’s big four supermarket operators. One of them, Tesco, launched its latest response in September when it opened the doors of a new store brand called Jack’s, a budget offering that pledged to offer Britain’s lowest prices. Over the next two years, Tesco will add 10 to 15 of the stores. That plan is dwarfed by Aldi’s plan to add 130 outlets over the next two years.

Aldi Brushes Off Tesco Discount Stores as Imitation It Can Beat

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” Aldi U.K. and Ireland Chief Executive Officer Giles Hurley said on a call with reporters Monday. “It will be a real struggle for any more complex supermarket to successfully imitate our model, let alone replicate it.”

Hurley said the chain is carefully watching Jack’s offerings and pledged that it will lower prices if needed. Aldi plans to grow to 1,200 U.K. stores in 2025 from about 775 now.

Aldi continues to gain market share among British shoppers. The grocer expanded its sales by more than 16 percent last year to more than 10 billion pounds ($13.9 billion), driven by a million new customers in the U.K., the company reported Monday morning.

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