Christmas sales at Aldi topped £1bn for the first time as the German-owned retailer continued its rapid expansion in the UK.
Sales rose 7.9% in the four weeks to Christmas Eve compared with the same trading period of the previous year.
The increase marks a slowdown from 2018, when UK sales were up by double-digits in the week before Christmas.
New store openings bolstered this year’s figure by 5-6%, suggesting underlying sales rose by about 3%, according to analysts at GlobalData. The company did not report a like-for-like sales figure.
“Aldi must now face the fact that it can no longer hope to achieve the same domineering double-digit growth it has done over the past decade,” said Thomas Brereton, a retail analyst at GlobalData.
Aldi has been rapidly opening stores as it aims to increase its UK chain from 874 shops to 1,200 by 2025. The growth has weighed on profits as it pours money into new stores and cutting prices to lift sales. Figures published in September showed that Aldi’s 2018 profits fell by almost a fifth as it invested £530m in expansion.
It has an 8% share of the UK grocery market, having increased by 0.4% during the past 12 months, it said. It is the UK’s fifth largest grocery retailer.
Giles Hurley, the Aldi UK chief executive, said: “More customers than ever before shopped with us this Christmas. Although we saw strong growth across all key categories, sales of our premium Specially Selected range surpassed expectations.”