Discount supermarket Aldi has announced plans to launch an online operation in the UK, offering home delivery and third party collection points from 2016.

The chain will initially begin selling crates of wine online, expanding to “special buys” in the spring. The privately-owned supermarket has continually beaten the performance of British supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco, and the company believes moving online is the next logical step.

“This will enable us to introduce the Aldi brand and some of our best-selling, best-quality and best-value products to thousands more customers across the UK,” said Aldi Chief Executive Matthew Barnes.

“As the grocery market continues to evolve, our unique model, operational efficiency, private ownership and financial strength mean we’re able to keep investing in our business – from people and presence to products and prices.”

Aldi is now Britain’s seventh largest grocer with a 5.6 percent share according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel. The company disclosed a 31% rise in sales to £6.9bn in the 12 months to 31 December; however, it noted that increased investments “in prices and people” saw operating profits fall to £260.3m from £271.4m.

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