Supermarket sweep | 

Aldi removes 'non-essential' items in stores amid crackdown

Special buy offers on essential products, such as Christmas food, beverage and DIY will continue to go on sale each Thursday and Sunday, Aldi confirmed.


Ciara O'Loughlin

Aldi has confirmed that all non-essential products in its infamous ‘middle aisles’ have been removed in all 144 Irish stores due to government guidelines.

The retailer has made the move after clarification from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation on what classify as essential and non-essential items.

Special buy offers on essential products, such as Christmas food, beverage and DIY will continue to go on sale each Thursday and Sunday, Aldi confirmed.

Aldi Group Managing Director, Niall O’Connor said he understands customers may be disappointed but he thanks them for their understanding and patience.

Speaking about the move today, he said: “Irish families have relied on Aldi for their groceries and other essential household items over the past eight months. Ensuring our customers can continue to do so comfortably and safely is our number one priority.

“While we understand customers may be disappointed that they will not be able to purchase previously advertised Special buy offers at this time, I would like to thank them for their understanding and patience. We are working hard to reschedule these fantastic products once restrictions are lifted to ensure everyone can get everything they need for Christmas in Aldi.

“We will continue to ensure our award-winning range of essential products is available to all our customers, and this will not affect our plans to deliver the Amazing Aldi Irish Christmas that all of our customers deserve.”

The retailer has extended its opening hours in all Irish stores in the run-up to Christmas, with Aldi stores across the country opening at 8am at Christmas for the very first time.

It was announced earlier this week that non-essential retailers who have stayed open despite the Level 5 restrictions will face prosecution as gardaí prepare to clampdown.

This will also apply to supermarkets selling non-essential items like clothes and toys.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said retailers both large and small need to abide by regulations and “the spirit of regulations” or face prosecution.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This week, Mr Varadkar said that despite reports that the legislation as it stands is unenforceable, the gardaí have sufficient powers to bring an enforcement action against rogue retailers.

“What we are saying to them (retailers) is you need to abide by the regulations and you also need to abide by the spirit of the regulations.

“If you are a mixed retailer, and there are a lot of mixed retailers out there, you should separate your stock and only sell the items that are essential.”

Mr Varadkar cited supermarkets selling clothes as an example of a breach of regulations.

“For example, if you are a supermarket or a big store that has groceries and clothes, you should separate off the clothes,” the Tánaiste said.

“Workwear is OK but general clothes are not. And we have been in touch with gardaí that will be enforced.”

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