Aldi Camelon: Bigger store to tackle lack of space, but no extra alcohol shelves

Aldi bosses have insisted they were not expecting to increase the amount of alcohol sold in their extended Camelon store – as they were granted permission to boost the amount of space devoted to alcohol sales.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 8:03 am

The new store has been given permission for a Click and Collect service and a home delivery service, as well as the increase in alcohol space.

Members of Falkirk Council’s licensing board heard that while the extension was being built, the store would also be refurbished and the space devoted to displaying alcohol in the store would be increased substantially to 39 cubic metres.

However, Michael McDougall, representing the company, told the board that the extension was due to Aldi’s ongoing commitment and investment in Scotland and that the work would improve the shopping experience.

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Picture Michael Gillen

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And he pointed out to members that the percentage of the store displaying alcohol was actually decreasing very slightly from 5.4 per cent to 5.1 per cent.

Philip Johnston, Aldi manager, reassured members that this would not mean a rapid increase in lines stocked or the amount sold, but would simply give them more space for what they already stock.

He said: “Every Aldi in Scotland sells an identical range – we don’t vary it because of store size.

“The application is not to sell a larger number of lines, it is is actually to accommodate the same number of lines we are already selling in existing premises.

“In Scotland we stock the same core alcohol lines but we also invest in local produce – particularly gin, whisky and beers that we showcase at times throughout the year – and while we can get the product on to the shelves, it is incredibly tight.”

This lack of space, he added, was also a problem at Christmas when people were more likely to be buying large multi-pack cases of beer than small packs.

He explained: “We can get the lines in but we might only get four cases onto the shelves, so our staff end up having to replenish the lines 20 times a day.

“For a business that relies on efficiency, it’s incredibly inefficient.”

The board granted the licence.

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