FILE PHOTO: People follow social distancing rules while they queue outside an Aldi store as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Northwich, Britain, March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Molly Darlington/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – Aldi UK, the British arm of the German supermarket discounter, said it would trial grocery home delivery for the first time in partnership with Deliveroo.
From Monday, Aldi will offer a rapid delivery service from a store in Nottingham, central England, before extending the trial to a further seven stores across the East Midlands in June.
If successful, the service could roll out to further Aldi stores by the end of 2020, it said.
Britain’s fifth-largest supermarket chain, with 875 stores and an 8% market share, has previously restricted online sales to wine and its “Specialbuys” range of non-food items such as electrical goods and garden tools.
However, last month it did start selling online food parcels to help self-isolating and vulnerable customers during the coronavirus crisis.
The new service will allow customers to order from over 150 Aldi products, such as bread, milk and fresh produce, through the Deliveroo app. These will be picked and packed by Aldi staff in-store, for delivery via Deliveroo’s network of riders in as little as 30 minutes.
Britain’s big four supermarket groups – market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – have been ramping-up their online delivery businesses to serve increased demand during the pandemic.
Before the health crisis started, about 7% of UK grocery sales were delivered to homes – about one in every 15 households.
But even if delivery capacity doubled, some 85% of the market would still need to be served by visits to stores.
Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young