Aldi secures mega shed approval amid reports of ecommerce offering

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Aldi has secured planning approval for its 1.3 million sq ft national distribution centre in South Bardon Leicestershire just as it is reported that the budget supermarket could be launching a full blown ecommerce offering in the UK.

According to The Grocer, Armstrong Logistics, Aldi’s long-term logistics partner, has built and launched a dedicated home delivery division and the family run business  says that the ecommerce offer is a natural evolvement of its business. Neither Aldi nor Armstong Logistics has directly commented on the reports.

However, Aldi UK started its online groceries offering to customers in April this year with delivery of food parcels for people self-isolating at home during lockdown.

Armstrong Logistics said it had delivered more than 30,000 of Aldi’s food parcels to shoppers’ doorsteps since lockdown began. Aldi also started a partnership with food courier service Deliveroo, which allows customers to select groceries from 200 products via the Deliveroo App, which are then collected from in store and delivered.

In July Aldi announced it was doubling the size of this partnership to 20 stores offering rapid home delivery following the massive popularity of the service of the eight store trial in Nottinghamshire. Aldi UK is pushing forward with five stores offering home delivery via Deliveroo in London in addition to Camden, which was opened in June, as well as launching in Greater Manchester and Cambridge.

The supermarket has stated that it is opening an average of one new store a week between now and Christmas in the UK with locations such as Sandhurst, Bristol and Edinburgh as it continues towards its target of 1,200 UK stores by 2025.

It is on this basis that the new NDC in Leicestershire is to be built. Plans were approved by Hinckley & Bosworth Council this week on a 72-acre site.

The facility, which will comprise 1,301,658 sq ft of space, includes approximately 50,000 sq ft of offices on two storeys as well as a 65,000 sq ft mezzanine. It will have a clear internal eaves height of 30m. The barrel vault roof will support a PV solar array and the whole building will conform to EPC A.

Within the Design & Access statement it was stated that the new NDC is expected to become “the fulcrum of Aldi’s logistics infrastructure and will be critical to support Aldi’s national store network growth”.

The Design & Access statement continues: “The NDC is designed to complement Aldi’s current Regional Distribution Centre network by receiving multiple full loads of product from suppliers, which allows the consolidation of stock. A large quantity of stock in one centre is more efficient than small quantities in a large number of centres. This process allows volume to drive efficiency and reduce overall stock deliveries, decreasing road miles and therefore Aldi’s carbon footprint.

“The introduction of the NDC will allow Aldi to link its existing RDCs to this new facility and, in some cases, share fleet in the process, therefore, reducing Aldi’s carbon footprint further.

Avison Young is advising.

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