Aldi proved plenty of soothsayers wrong today, hitting back at the weekend’s gloomy headlines by grabbing plenty of positive column inches with its best-ever Christmas.

While some analysts predicted a sales slump, the discounter gave experts a festive feast of food for thought, revealing that total sales actually grew 15% in December.

Although it declined to divulge a like-for-like figure, sources close to Aldi told Retail Week that same store sales were “strongly positive”, suggesting that it wasn’t just new supermarket openings that contributed to growth.

With a slew of updates due this week – most notably on what has been dubbed ‘Super Thursday’ – does Aldi’s performance point to 2016 being the discounters’ Christmas?

After all, value operator B&M has already unveiled a healthy 7.2% spike in like-for-likes, while Iceland boss Malcolm Walker told Retail Week just before Christmas that its festive trading had been “f**king amazing”.

With Morrisons reporting tomorrow, ahead of updates from Sainsbury’s and Tesco later in the week, the mainstream grocers will be out to prove otherwise in the coming days.

Elsewhere, Superdrug and Maplin also posted positive Christmas trading updates, but trade will not be so brisk in London today, with footfall expected to tumble around 10% as a result of the Tube strike.

Quote of the day

“We’ve got to think differently about the future to make sure we continue to compete in an incredibly competitive marketplace”

Waitrose managing director Rob Collins. 

Today in numbers


The number of drones Maplin sold in the six weeks to December 24.


The jump in footfall recorded at Intu shopping centres from November 20, 2016 to January 2, 2017.

Tomorrow’s agenda

The stream of Christmas trading updates continues at a pace, as Morrisons, Majestic Wine, and Topps Tiles all post festive figures.

Luke Tugby, deputy news editor