Aldi and Lidl, the discount supermarkets, have enjoyed record Christmas trading amid the cost of living crisis.
Lidl reported a 12 per cent increase in sales year on year across the festive period. Sales at Aldi topped £1.5 billion for the first time in the four weeks to Christmas Eve, rising 8 per cent compared with the same period in 2022.
Friday December 22 was the busiest trading day ever for both discounters. At Aldi, 2.5 million customers shopped at the chain on that day alone.
At Lidl, 4.5 million more people came through the door in December and a fresh British turkey was sold every two seconds in the run-up to the big day. Many customers traded up to its Deluxe range of premium products, where sales rose 11 per cent.
Ryan McDonnell, chief executive of Lidl GB, said: “I’m incredibly proud of our performance this Christmas in what was the busiest trading period in our history. Deluxe proved to be a standout winner this Christmas with record-breaking sales as we saw customers not only start their festive celebrations early but trade up to premium lines across all categories.”
Sales of its Montaudon champagne brut doubled in December, while prosecco sales were up 45 per cent. Lidl’s popular Christmas jumpers remained in demand, with sales increasing by 40 per cent.
Aldi has pledged to keep prices low in the coming year. Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “As we look ahead to 2024, our promise to customers is that they will always make significant savings on every shop with Aldi because we have the lowest grocery prices in Britain.”
The record sales come as food inflation fell for the eighth consecutive month thanks to retailers’ efforts to bring down prices in the run-up to Christmas. The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium show that food inflation was 6.7 per cent in December, down from 7.7 per cent in November.
Overall, shop price annual inflation was unchanged at 4.3 per cent in December. Non-food inflation rose to 3.1 per cent in the month, up from 2.5 per cent in November.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Overall shop price inflation remained steady in December. Households did have reason to celebrate as food inflation fell for the eighth consecutive month thanks to retailers’ efforts to bring down prices in the run-up to Christmas.
“There was cause for merriment as prices of wine, port and sherry fell on the month. Non-food products had a more challenging December, with price inflation rising again following retailers’ investment in November Black Friday discounting and ahead of the January sales.”
She added: “Retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices down in 2024, but there are obstacles on the road ahead. New border checks for EU imports, hundreds of millions more on business rates bills from April. Government should think twice before imposing new costs on retail businesses that would not only hold back vital investment in local communities, but also push up prices for struggling households.”