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Aldi may enter UK e-commerce market

24 March 2015 - 09:23 by Simon Crisp

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Budget supermarket chain, Aldi, could upset its established rivals even further by offering customers the chance to order their groceries online.

German publication, Lebensmittel Zeitung, reported late last week that the firm is intending to reveal its e-commerce plans this year, joining big hitters including Tesco and Sainsbury's in pursuing online deliveries.

In the past, Aldi's stance on e-commerce has been that there will be little point it offering a delivery service because it would not be able to make enough of a profit to justify its creation. Of course it has enjoyed rapid growth in the UK and is now looking to keep up this rate of expansion, which is, perhaps, why safe shopping online is on the table.

The sources close to the company that revealed the alleged e-commerce plans have caused quite a stir, although Aldi itself has refused to comment on the speculation. This is telling in itself because, in the past, the company has come out in strong opposition to the idea of an online launch, although it was less willing to do so after this story emerged.

Aldi has hit rivals hard thanks to its low prices, with other supermarket chains putting up with falling sales as a result of its bricks and mortar expansion. So it seems like offering online shopping to customers is the next logical step for the company.

The biggest barrier to supermarkets when it comes to deliveries is the cost of transporting the goods to customers' homes. Even with many retailers charging for delivery, they are still soaking up a lot of the expense themselves to make consumers happy.

Aldi may well be prepared to do the same, especially if it means putting the squeeze on competitors in a part of the market that it cannot currently touch.