A WEB designer who created a internet tribute site to his favourite supermarket has been ordered to hand over his domain name to the chain.

Wayne Stephenson, of Osmotherley, near Northallerton, said he had been stunned to receive a 12-page letter from the multinational firm in December, after setting up ilovealdi.co.uk, to highlight the quality and value of the retailer's products.

The website featured Aldi's prices, to enable visitors to see what savings could be made by shopping at the store, compared with its rivals, as an information service for the budget store, which last year reported an annual turnover of £5.27bn.

It also included a forum for visitors to put recipes using the discount chain's products, to highlight alternatives to branded ones and Mr Stephenson created an Aldi shopping list mobile phone app, to enable people to calculate their weekly shopping bills.

Mr Stephenson, who runs wayneswebworld.co.uk, said: "The letter said there would be serious repercussions unless I took the site down.

"I could understand it if I had registered ihatealdi.co.uk, but I genuinely love shopping at Aldi and wasn't looking to make money from it, there weren't even any adverts."

Mr Stephenson said he took a photo of all his Aldi receipts in a bid to convince the firm he was a real fan, but as he was concerned about the legal might of the firm, which has more than 9,000 stores worldwide, he immediately took down the site.

Days later, he received another legal letter from the firm demanding he hand over the ilovealdi.co.uk domain name.

After being told by internet watchdog Nominet to hand over the domain name, Mr Stephenson said: "It is a bad day when an internet name can lead to this.

"While I will still take my kids shopping to their Yarm store every Saturday, I won't promote them among my friends as much as I used to."

Aldi said it guarded its name rights and the ilovealdi.co.uk had at one time pointed towards another site offering groceries for sale, a claim the father-of-two denied.

The supermarket chain was also concerned that web browsers looking for an online Aldi store might be misled.

Nominet expert David Taylor ruled Mr Stephenson was probably "seeking to take unfair advantage" of Aldi's reputation with British shoppers to make a profit for himself.

Mr Taylor said the ilovealdi domain name was likely to confuse shoppers into believing that it was in some way connected to, or authorised by, Aldi.

He said the domain name was an "abusive registration" in Mr Stephenson's hands and ordered its transfer to Aldi Stores Limited.