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Aldi has opened a £50 million distribution centre on the Isle of Sheppey.

The warehouse will be the tenth distribution centre in the UK and will have a footprint 645,834 sq. ft. It will support store operations in the south-east by delivering to around 60 stores.  The south-east has been identified by Aldi as an area for potential growth in coming years.

Supporting expansion

Ben Shotter, Aldi’s Managing Director for the RDC at the Isle of Sheppey said, “The new Sheppey distribution centre significantly increases our capacity and allows us to open more stores across the south-east to cater for the growing number of shoppers switching to Aldi.”

Aldi plans to open 130 stores during 2019 and 2020, taking the total number of stores to 957.  This is in line with the retailers plans to open 1200 stores in the UK by 2025. 


A new home delivery service is to start in London, delivering groceries from Aldi stores. Home Run takes orders online, and uses personal shoppers to go into stores to pick the goods. The company then offers delivery to addresses in central London within 2 hours.

Last mile couriers

Home Run already fulfils orders from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, but it charges a premium on some product prices compared to the store, as well as adding on a delivery charge. Orders are delivered by couriers using car or scooter, and says the scooter drivers are “equipped with the biggest boxes that can be safely carried”.

Personal shopping across the pond

Personal shopper services are not widely used in the UK, but in the US they form a major part of the home delivery sector, especially to achieve express deliveries.

Walmart’s same-day delivery plans

To emphasise this, Walmart has announced the expansion of its partnership with Instacart offering same-day delivery from Sam’s Club stores. This partnership started in February 2018 and is now being rolled out to more than 350 clubs by the end of Oct, over half of the estate.

Partnering with Instacart

Instacart is a major “marketplace” operation in North America, and as it has more formalised partnerships with retailers, it has been able to offer shoppers the same prices as they would see in-store. It focuses on rapid (under two hour) deliveries in certain densely-populated areas, largely depending on independent contractors to shop and deliver.

The discounter aims for its operations in the UK and Ireland to be net carbon neutral by 2019.

Investing in environmental and efficient solutions

Aldi is taking a multi-pronged approach to reducing its environmental impact, including alternative energy sources and reducing resource usage. This work delivers on Aldi's commitment to the Courtauld 2025 initiative to reduce waste, reduce greenhouse gases and improve water stewardship.

Key activities include:

  • Energy optimisation: every Aldi store has an energy management system to monitor and control energy consumption
  • Renewable energy sources: Aldi has installed 388 solar panel systems in around a third of its stores and all its regional distribution centres, and 100% of electricity used is from renewable energy sources
  • Equipment: the business has invested £20m upgrading equipment such as fridges and freezers in order to increase energy efficiency. More stores are also using heat recovered from fridges, chillers and freezers, further reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions
  • Lighting: LED lighting saves each store almost five tonnes of carbon each year
  • Transport: activities to reduce fuel consumption include lighter, more aerodynamic vehicles, investment in fuel management, and investing in efficient route planning

Combined, these actions have contributed to reducing Aldi's carbon footprint by over 30% in this time period.  In addition, the discounter will work with ClimatePartner to purchase carbon credits to offset emissions.

Future-proofing

Aldi's MD for corporate responsibility Fritz Walleczek said "we are continually reviewing our operations to reduce emissions and be kinder to the environment, while also future proofing our growing store portfolio for many years to come."

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