Aldi UK accelerates online push with ramp-up of Deliveroo trial

LONDON (Reuters) - Aldi UK, the British arm of the German supermarket discounter, is stepping-up its push into groceries home delivery by expanding a trial with Deliveroo to almost 130 stores, it said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Abdelaziz Abdou, a Deliveroo delivery rider, poses with a bag of Aldi groceries, as discount supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl look poised to accelerate their push into home delivery to satisfy burgeoning demand for online grocery shopping in a shift expected to endure beyond the coronavirus crisis, in London, Britain, June 17, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain’s fifth-largest supermarket group, with 900 stores and a 7.8% market share, has been slow to offer online services in comparison to rivals but has been developing its channels to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April it started selling online food parcels to help self-isolating and vulnerable customers during the crisis and a month later started the rapid delivery trial in partnership with Deliveroo.

Also last week it said it would extend a trial of a click and collect service by up to an additional 200 stores by Christmas.

Online grocery shopping has doubled its share of the UK market to around 14% since the start of the pandemic and online pioneer Ocado OCDO.L reckons it could reach 30% over the next few years.

Aldi customers can choose from around 400 items on the Deliveroo app. Products are then picked and packed by Aldi staff before being delivered by Deliveroo riders in as little as 20 minutes.

Delivery via Deliveroo costs 4.99 pounds, including a 49 pence platform fee.

“We’re finding customers really value having more ways to shop at Aldi, particularly at the moment,” Aldi said.

Aldi enjoyed over a decade of strong growth on the back of new store openings but its market share has edged lower during the pandemic, partly because of its lack of a significant online offer.

In September, the group said it was investing 1.3 billion pounds over the next two years, including in opening 100 new stores.

Deliveroo, 16% of which is owned by Amazon AMZN.O, is also working with the Co-operative Group 42TE.L, Waitrose, Sainsbury's SBRY.L and Morrisons MRW.L.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kirsten Donovan