Aldi shop openings beat Big Four supermarkets’ plans

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Aldi will open more stores in 2015 than Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons combined, according to research on the supermarket sector.

The study, from commercial property research specialist IPD and property agent Colliers, found changing trends in the embattled supermarket sector, The Telegraph reported.

Aldi, which along with rival Lidl has posed a serious challenge to larger industry players, is planning to open more than 1.02 million sq ft of retail units this year.

This will equate to around 60 new stores for the German retailer, which currently has more than 500 shops outlets in the UK and will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.

By comparison, Sainsbury’s will open 450,000 sq ft of retail space. Morrisons is set to open 220,000 sq ft, while Tesco will open just 170,000 sq ft.

Marks & Spencer placed second behind Aldi’s ambitious opening plans, with 600,000 sq ft. Discounter Lidl plans to open 340,000 sq ft.

Of the Big Four supermarkets, Asda has the greatest expansion plans, with 550,000 sq ft store openings slated for the year.

A total of 3.9 million sq ft of space will be opened in the grocery industry in 2015. Just 29 per cent will be traditional supermarkets, with stores between 3,000 sq ft and 15,000 sq ft making up around 54 per cent of openings. A further 17 per cent will be convenience stores, the report said.