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Aldi invested €1.1bn with Irish food and drink companies in 2022

German supermarket chain, which is targeting expansion in Irish market, has more than 330 local suppliers. Aldi has expanded its Irish supplier network, adding 15 new suppliers and investing €1.1 billion with local food and drink companies in 2022.

A report on the German grocery retailer’s economic impact in the Irish market found that the company paid almost €160 million in wages and salaries last year.

It opened six new stores during this period – in Caherciveen, Clonakilty, Ballina, Ardee, Tuam and Mountbellew – and also invested €15 million in revamping existing stores in Killarney, Clonmel and Wexford town.

Niall O’Connor, group managing director of Aldi in Ireland, said the company continues to perform well and has significant investment planned for 2023.

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The retailer, which has 155 stores in the Irish market, will “continue to prioritise low prices” through its discount strategy amid the cost-of-living crisis, he said

“We know this is increasingly important during a trying cost-of-living crisis and continue to be very aware of its impact. We are committed to helping our customers weather this storm and will continue to shield and protect them with low prices, starting with even bigger discounts over the coming year,” Mr O’Connor said.

“This crisis also affects our suppliers, many of whom have seen their input costs rise as a result.”

Aldi has more than 330 Irish suppliers, with new deals including a €9 million contract with Wicklow-based NutriQuick, a deal worth €10 million with Sorrento Pizza from Dublin, and a €100 million deal with Kilkenny-based potato producers Iverk Produce.

It also agreed a €7.5 million deal with Dublin-based confectioners Broderick’s, which gave the company the opportunity to stock their goods in some of Aldi’s US stores.

Aldi has ramped up its expansion plans in the West of Ireland, committing to invest €63 million and create 140 new full-time jobs across Connacht over 2022 and 2023. The retailer has also confirmed it will expand its store network in Dublin with a €73 million investment in 11 stores over the next five years. The first of these will open shortly in Adamstown.

In January, the chain announced plans to hire an additional 360 people this year, which will bring its total employee numbers past 5,000 people. The company, which claims it is the best-paying supermarket in Ireland, increased pay rates from February 1st.

Operating profits at the Irish arm of Aldi amounted to more than €39 million in 2021, the latest year for which figures are available. This was a 44 per cent decline from the previous year, as the chain grappled with higher prices and ongoing pandemic disruption.

According to the most recent figures from research firm Kantar, Aldi has a share of 11.6 per cent of the Irish grocery market, putting it fifth behind Dunnes Stores, Tesco, SuperValu and German rival Lidl, which has a 12.2 per cent share.

Laura Slattery © Irish Times 2023