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Aldi set to open new Canterbury supermarket in B&Q unit near to Asda and Lidl


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A huge B&Q store in Canterbury is to be converted into three separate outlets - with budget supermarket Aldi and a coffee chain moving in.

The DIY giant wants to downsize by splitting up its Sturry Road building, keeping one unit itself and offering the remaining two to big national names.

B&Q is set to be downsized to make way for an Aldi supermarket
B&Q is set to be downsized to make way for an Aldi supermarket

Aldi has already agreed to move into one should the plans be approved, sparking a three-way supermarket war with Lidl and Asda just a stone's throw away.

Developers hope to attract the likes of Starbucks and Costa to to fill the third.

If the plans are approved by Canterbury City Council, retail analysts predict the arrival of Aldi - which already has a store in Wincheap - will make a significant dent in the trade of nearby supermarkets.

Calculations show come 2025, 15% of Lidl's annual turnover will be diverted to Aldi, while a hefty 27% of Asda's income is expected to be swallowed up.

Trade at the nearby Kingsmead Sainsbury's is also predicted to take a hit, with a fifth of its annual turnover shifting into the pockets of its rival.

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Overall, analysts believe the new Aldi will secure a turnover of £10.3 million in 2025 - making it the eighth biggest money-making supermarket in the city.

Working on behalf of B&Q, planning consultants RPS explain the reasoning behind the decision to shrink the DIY store.

A document attached with the planning application reads: "The reduction in the size of the B&Q store reflects the needs of the business to ‘right-size’ and enable it to adapt and respond to changing consumer patterns for DIY and gardening and related goods.

Asda is just over the road from where Aldi want to open
Asda is just over the road from where Aldi want to open
Aldi would be just a stone's throw from Canterbury's Lidl
Aldi would be just a stone's throw from Canterbury's Lidl

"Importantly, the proposals will ensure that B&Q continues to trade from this location.

"The proposed discount food store is expected to compete with existing comparable out-of-centre stores on a like-for-like basis. Importantly, the proposed store is likely to result in cannibalisation of existing out-of-centre stores with negligible effect upon the vitality and viability of the city or local centres."

Aldi will take the middle unit of the building, bookmarked by B&Q and the proposed coffee shop either side.

Surveyors explored the potential of opening a new branch of the German retailer elsewhere in the city, with research being conducted into the vacant Nasons and Debenhams sites and other empty warehouses.

But no suitable alternative locations could be found, with B&Q the preferred option.

B&Q will downsize by about 30%
B&Q will downsize by about 30%

Developers say the notoriously busy Sturry Road "will remain well within operational capacity" and the huge 280+ space car park will not be overstretched.

If given the go-ahead, the existing Aldi branch in Wincheap, which is deemed a "success", will continue to trade.

It will not be the first time Aldi and the hardware firm have worked in partnership. Last year, a new branch of the supermarket chain opened in Peterborough's downsized B&Q.

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