Aldi has started selling holidays to the UK market which it claims will be up to 50 percent cheaper than big tour operators.
The budget supermarket becomes the second major grocery chain in the UK to offer discount holidays, following Asda, and could mark a move towards supermarkets usurping travel agents on the high street.The German group aims to sell in large volumes and low margins, allowing the firm to deliver lower prices. It already sells holidays in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Aldi Travel offers a range of holidays to destinations including Egypt, the Balearic Islands, Portugal, Mainland Spain and Turkey. Every two weeks it will publish a new brochure in its stores offering a fresh selection of holidays. Customers can also browse the offers online.
Other destinations will include the French Alps and cities such as Rome, Vienna and Paris, U.S.A. South America, as well as cruises.
The firm has two travel partners, Eurotours and the Onholiday group, which will provide services at airports and in the resorts.
The company has succeeded during the credit crisis by luring middle income customers away from major supermarkets. It now aims to do the same in travel.
Aldi’s UK managing director, Paul Foley, told the Daily Mail: “This is very new idea, we will offer a discount store approach to the holiday business. I am trying to do with holidays what we have done with food supermarkets.”
“The big difference is that I have cut the range of holidays available at any one time down to an absolute minimum. I have picked the very best deals in three sectors, the beach holiday, the ski holiday and city break.”
“I am expecting to be a big player in the four-star holiday business. The principle is that if you got hold of a Thomson brochure and you picked the 12 best holidays, we would do them cheaper.”