Aldi is ditching grocery deliveries via Deliveroo to focus on its own home shopping service as consumers return to stores in greater numbers.
About 100 of the German retailer’s 950 UK stores offered grocery orders and home deliveries through Deliveroo during the pandemic when shoppers increasingly chose to shop online.
Recent industry data has indicated a return to more normal shopping habits, with online grocery sales in December down 3.7% on the same month in 2020, and accounting for 12.2% of total groceries, compared with a peak of nearly 14% last year.
During lockdowns, supermarkets including Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and the Co-op turned to Deliveroo to help with extra demand for home deliveries. Rapid delivery operators, including Getir, Gorillas and Zapp, have also entered the UK market.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s have also been trying out their own rapid delivery services – Whoosh and Chop Chop – to take on the likes of Getir, Deliveroo, JustEat and Uber Eats.
Aldi’s move, which was first reported by the Grocer trade journal, marks a first shift away from food delivery, which is seen as less profitable, particularly for low-cost retailers whose business model is based around saving costs through simplicity and efficiency. It comes after a strong Christmas for the retailer and grocers in general, helped by fears of the Omicron variant, which dampened desire for eating out at restaurants, cafes and pubs.
An Aldi spokesperson said: “We have decided to end our trial with Deliveroo to focus on our click and collect service, which remains on offer at more than 200 of our stores nationwide.”
On Thursday Deliveroo said its sales were up 36% in the three months to 31 December compared with the same period a year before and 11% ahead of the previous quarter. However, the figures showed a slowdown from the annual run-rate of 70%.
It said grocery sales made up 8% of the food delivery specialist’s total in the second half of 2021, up from 6% in the same period in 2020.
Will Shu, the chief executive of Deliveroo, said: “Despite a challenging backdrop, we continued to strengthen our customer proposition, widen our customer base and execute against our strategy.”