Aldi overtakes Morrisons as it looks to bolster its workforce

The rise of budget supermarket Aldi continues today as it expands its workforce and celebrates becoming the UK's fourth largest supermarket.

The opening of a new Aldi in West Bromwich in 2019
The opening of a new Aldi in West Bromwich in 2019

Aldi has officially overtaken Morrisons, breaking into the country's 'Big Four' for the first time.

It comes as the store reveals plans to hire more than 400 staff across the West Midlands amid an aggressive expansion programme in the region.

Official figures today reveal Aldi's market share has grown to 9.2 per cent of the UK grocery market in the four weeks to August 7, compared to Morrisons’ nine per cent.

This time last year, Morrisons held 10 per cent of the UK's grocery market when US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice bought them over.

Aldi's surge in market share comes as shoppers across the country have been battling rising prices due to soaring inflation during the cost of living crisis.

Combined with rising prices at the supermarket, households have been making the switch to discounted stores such as Aldi and its rival Lidl to keep their grocery costs down.

The new figures also mean that this is the first time that a discounted chain has entered the UK's 'Big Four' hierarchy, which has usually consisted of Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's.

The Big Four supermarkets have faced tough competition from the German discount chains, which has led them to begin offering their own 'Aldi Price Match' and Price Cuts campaigns.

The joy of Aldi's middle aisle

Famous for its middle aisle of mixed home and garden goods, Aldi has spent big on advertising campaigns to plug its cheap groceries.

The recruitment push in the West Midlands forms part of Aldi’s nationwide expansion drive, with the supermarket on track to create 2,000 permanent new roles across the UK this year.

Kelly Stokes, recruitment director at Aldi UK, said: “As we continue to grow and make Aldi accessible to even more shoppers, we need more colleagues to help make that possible within the West Midlands."

Aldi has joined other stores in increasing pay for staff as it looks to attract new recruits. Last month, it announced a second pay increase this year. From September, workers in the West Midlands will earn a minimum hourly rate of £10.50 nationally, with paid breaks included.

Aldi in the Northern Quarter of Telford Shopping Centre

Vacancies currently advertised across the West Midlands include store and stock assistants and management apprentices. Store manager vacancies in Oswestry and Cannock offer a salary of up to £63,000, although that is based on a 48-hour week. Deputy managers are advertised for Goldthorn Park in Wolverhampton and Bentley Bridge, paying around £12 an hour with a bonus rate when stepping up to be in charge. And an assistant manager is wanted to cover stores in Staffordshire, with a rate of up to £41,000.

The supermarket currently operates 950 stores across the UK, and they are expected to open even more as part of a multi-billion dollar UK expansion plan.

In Shropshire, Aldi revealed earlier this year that it had 100 jobs up for grabs as part of its expansion. One new store is at Shrewsbury's Battlefield roundabout, replacing its 960 square metre building in Arlington Way with a store 400 sq-m larger, to allow for wider aisles and more tills to reduce congestion and queuing. The store says the plan will retain all 25 jobs at Arlington Way and create 15 new vacancies, generating £1 million in wages annually.

It revealed late last year its ambition to open 10 new stores in Staffordshire, including a new branch at Cannock's Orbital Retail Park – which is less than a mile away from another branch on Walsall Street. A new store was also opened at Walsall's Crown Wharf Retail Park earlier this year, creating 36 jobs.

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