Finance

Aldi UK boss moves to calm consumer concerns over supply chain woes


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ldi has moved to calm fears that supply chain woes would wreck Christmas, with its UK boss insisting stock and lorry driver numbers are in good shape.

The reassurance came as the grocer announced a £1.3 billion investment drive. The two-year spending spree will see the chain create more than 2000 jobs in the UK, boost warehousing space and add another 100 shops.

Confidence to invest comes despite major turbulence for much of the retail sector. Firms are grappling with shipping delays, driver shortages and the petrol-buying panic.

Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, which has more than 920 stores — including 48 within the M25 — and around 38,000 employees, addressed the headwinds.

He said: “There’s clearly a lot going on. It is difficult to believe anybody is going to be immune from that.”

However, Hurley said his company was less exposed than some other rivals.

Hurley said all “of our trucks are running as they should do”, and added: “We are going to have our best Christmas range ever.”

He also said more than three-quarters of the group’s drivers are employed directly, and in August the firm increased the rates for all driving staff.

The firm gave the update as it published annual results that showed how sales increased 10.2% to £13.5 billion during the pandemic.

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