Supermarket Aldi gets new UK chief executive

Aldi is to appoint a new UK chief executive as the German supermarket embarks on a management shake-up.

Matthew Barnes, an Aldi veteran who joined the company in 1997, will make way for Giles Hurley, who will become the new UK and Ireland chief executive.

Mr Hurley is also an Aldi stalwart, having spent almost 20 years at the firm over which time he has held down roles such as training director, group buying director and most recently UK group managing director since 2015.

He will take the hot seat on May 1.

Meanwhile Mr Barnes, who is credited with overseeing the supermarket's meteoric rise from upstart to challenger to the so-called Big Four, has been promoted to the "coordination board" of Aldi South, which is the parent firm of the grocery giant's UK operations.

He will also join the board of Hofer KG, which acts as management holding for Aldi's Austrian and international shareholdings.

In the new role, Mr Barnes will continue to oversee the UK and Ireland as well as the US market.

Aldi, alongside fellow German chain Lidl, have caused major headaches for Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons over the past decade, snatching market share by offering cheaper prices.

To illustrate this, Aldi raked in more than £10 billion in sales last year for the first time after notching up record sales over Christmas.

The supermarket said total UK sales were more than 15% higher during December compared to the same month in 2016.

The retailer, which has more than 700 stores in the UK and 29,000 staff, has a long-term strategy to have a network of 1,000 by 2022.

The privately owned group plans to plough further funds into launching 70 new UK stores and recruiting 4,000 staff this year.

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