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Aldi is to hire 5,000 more staff in the UK alone this year and has announced plans to open 80 new stores.

After this expansion, the discount supermarket will have 700 stores and more than 32,000 employees in the UK.

The discounter is the UK’s sixth-biggest supermarket, owning 5.6% of the market share in the 12 months to January, according to analysts at Kantar Worldpanel. As well as this, the company has doubled its market share in the last three years.

Due to the discounted supermarkets being such a success, the big four supermarkets were pushed into a price war.

Jobs available include managers, stock assistants and store staff. Aldi also now owns more of the market share than Waitrose and Lidl.

Tesco shares rose by 1% on Monday, and Sainsbury’s and Morrisons both added more than 3%.

Tesco announced that it will end 24-hour shopping at 70 of its stores due to the growth of online shopping.

Around one in six of those currently open around the clock but the company said that due to the rise in online shopping, certain shops had less customers overnight.

This decision will have minimal impact on employees as Tesco will still proceed with night time activities such as refilling selves.

Four hundred staff will see a difference as the affected outlets will close between midnight and 6am, but the business said that this will not mean 400 job losses.

Stores that are affected by this have not yet been named but there are currently a total of 400 Tesco stores that open 24 hours a day.

The supermarket chain Morrisons was the first the cut diesel prices to below £1 a litre on Sunday and the other three big supermarkets also dropped prices on Monday.

Petrol, which is usually cheaper than diesel, was reduced below £1 a litre in the weeks before Christmas and these cuts show the further falls in the price of oil. Asda currently has 277 filling stations and said that it was the first supermarket to cut the price of petrol to below £1 a litre in November. Morrisons also stated this.

The price of oil is at its lowest for 11 years and Morrisons’ cuts were its cheapest since 2009. UK Brent crude oil is trading at just below $38, which is £26 per barrel. This means it lost 35% over the year.

About 75% of the price of UK fuel goes to the Treasury in duty and VAT and the remainder goes on refinery costs, distribution and the fuel retailers’ profit margins.

According to the motorists’ organisation, the forecourt price should have been cut earlier seeing as the wholesale price of diesel has been 2p lower than the wholesale price of petrol. This started a couple of weeks before Christmas and the organisation stated that more miles were driven in the UK on diesel than petrol.

Sainsbury’s is charging slightly more at 99.9p per litre whereas Morrisons, Asda and Tesco are charging 99.7p.

Morrisons is at risk of falling out of the FTSE 100 due to a severe drop in its share price and concerning recovery plans.

The supermarket chain has been in the list for more than 14 years but as sales have fallen its share price has reduced by 17% this year.

In the last quarterly reshuffles in June and September, Morrisons missed demotion and the final decision will be made by the London Stock Exchange. This will be decided on Wednesday based upon the closing price of the day before.

The new chief executive David Potts has been attempting to make sure the company’s fortune is not all lost but the supermarket has been under pressure through a tough trading period.

Morrisons announced a 2.6% drop in sales last month for the three months to November, which meant that there was a further fall in share price.

The supermarket also faced its worst result in eight years back in March when there was a 52% drop in annual profits to £345 million.

It is no surprise that Morrisons is struggling considering the current state of the sector due to price wars with the big four supermarkets because of the rise of the discounters.

Morrisons has had to make several losses and this included selling 140 “M” local convenience stores that did not make any profit as a result of needing to focus on the larger stores.

 

 

The discounter supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have taken another step towards victory as their joint grocery market share now stands at 10%.

Analysts Kantar Worldpanel said that Aldi’s market share was 5.6% in the 12 weeks to 8 November and Lidl’s 4.4%, showing that their joint market share has doubled in the last three years.

The discounters are on the rise but Sainsbury’s has now taken the second spot below Tesco, meaning it has had an increase in sales and is now ahead of Asda.

Sainsbury’s owns 16.6% of the UK grocery markets but Tesco still remains the UK’s largest supermarket with 27.9%.

Asda has taken a tumble as sales fell 3.5% in the latest quarter from the year before, which is more than any of its main competition. The supermarket has 16.4% of the market share.

Due to the continuous growth from the discount chains, the big four supermarkets have resulted in a price war against each other.

It could be difficult for supermarkets to compete with Aldi, whose sales rose 16.5% in the latest quarter compared to the year before, and Lidl whose sales increased 19%.

Tesco’s sales declined 2.5% from the year before while sales at Morrisons fell by 1.7% but sales at Waitrose and the Co-operative have increased.

Sainsbury’s has reported a fall in half-year profits due to price wars and the challenges from discounted supermarkets.

For the 28 weeks to 26 September, underlying pre-tax profits fell by 17.9% to £308 million and the company also reported it seventh consecutive quarter of falling underlying sales at the end of September.

This result is lower than last year as the figure then was £375 million but the result is also its lowest first-half profit since 2010 however, the good news is that it was still a better result than analysts expected.

Sainsbury’s is doing well on the clothes front, showing a sales increase of almost 10%, while food sales declined by nearly 1%. The business said that retail sales, which does not include fuel, were down 0.1% and like-for-like sales fell by 1.6%.

Although the supermarkets have declines slightly, convenience stores have had sales growth of nearly 11% and online grocery orders showed sales growth of 7%.

The constant battle between both the big four supermarkets and the discounters means that the competition is heating up even more, especially with Christmas drawing in.

 

After months of UK inflation staying at 0% it has risen to -0.1% in September, official figures have shown.

The main reasons for this is because a smaller than usual rise in clothing prices and falling motor fuel prices, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

There was a fall in price of household gas and the CPI rate has been close to zero for the majority of the year and it was in negative territory in April.

The chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, David Kern, said that they had expected inflation would stay at or below 0% for the rest of the year.

Due to the ongoing supermarket price wars, food prices fell by 2.5% in the year to September and as a result, prices in the sector fell for the 15th month in a row.

Both petrol and diesel prices are at their lowest in six years. Petrol prices fell by 3.7 pence per litre over the year.

In September, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure fell to 0.8%, compared with 1.1% in August. 

 

 

As from the 5th October 2015 shoppers will have to pay 5p for plastic bags at all big stores.  The charge is designed to stop litter and waste but is expected to cause widespread confusion and longer queues at the checkout.

Under the new scheme retailers with 250 or more full time equivalent employees will have to start charging today.  This will mean that major supermarkets and high street chains are affected by the policy, and all shoppers will be required to use their own bags to avoid the charge.

Free bags will still be provided for consumers buying uncooked meat, poultry or fish, prescription medicine, certain fresh produce such as flowers or potatoes, and unwrapped ready-to-eat food such as chips.

Campaigners have warned that it may not be as successful as more comprehensive bag charging schemes brought in elsewhere in the UK, such as Wales where the number of bags handed out by retailers fell by 79% in the first three years.

Even with the exclusions, the Government expects the scheme to reduce use of single-use carrier bags by up to 80% in supermarkets, and 50% on the high street.

It is also expected to save £60 million in litter clean-up costs and generate £730 million for good causes.

Many customers will walk into shops and wonder why Christmas stock is out already, especially considering that Halloween hasn’t come and gone yet. Cards, jumpers, advent calendars, you name it and it is likely that somewhere it’s already being sold 3 months ahead.

There will be many struggles over Christmas for customers such as busy periods and not being able to shop with ease, not knowing what to buy someone else or even trying to find the right priced shops can be difficult. The main realisation over Christmas however, may not be the problems customers face but instead, it’ll be the supermarkets.

The German discounter supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl are already on the rise and with Christmas coming, who knows how much profit they will make compared to the big four. It is safe to say that Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons may have been in the lead once and still are but they are also gradually losing sales growth.

Aldi and Lidl provide much cheaper alternatives and it is getting much more difficult for the bigger supermarkets to compete with low prices. Christmas especially will be a time when people want to stock up, buy presents and get more for their money and the discounter supermarkets will be the place to get better value. Lidl has already started selling advent calendars and boxes of Quality Streets and if anything, they will be cheaper even if it is by a few pence.

The discounters are not just beneficial for the customers but also for employees. Recently it was announced that from October, Lidl would be the first UK supermarket to pay the minimum wage as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. Employees would earn a minimum of £8.20 per hour across England, Scotland and Wales. However, in London they would earn £9.35 per hour. To add to that, Lidl also said that if the Living Wage Foundation were to change this in its annual announcement in November, it would adjust the minimum wage again.

There will always be room for the more expensive supermarkets such as Waitrose because not everyone goes for the cheapest price. However, the majority wants quality and if the discounters can provide that, there is no reason why they wouldn’t come out on top.

Aldi is creeping up behind the big supermarkets by sharing plans to open 130 new stores as part of a £600 million UK expansion.

The discount supermarket plans to hire 8,000 more staff, increasing its UK workforce to 35,000 by 2022.

It is gradually earning more of the UK market share and in April, overtook Waitrose as the UK’s sixth-biggest supermarket. Aldi now has 5.3% of the market share.

With one year to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games start, Aldi has already launched its campaign as an official GB partner and because of this, the supermarket has recruited six Team GB athletes. This includes Nicola Adams who is the world’s first female boxing Olympic champion.