Lidl, the UK’s fastest growing supermarket, has today reached a major milestone with the opening of five new stores, which takes its total store count in Great Britain to 700.
The new stores in Edinburgh, Stockton, Hull, Polegate and Rosehill (South London), form part of an accelerated period of expansion for Lidl, which sees the supermarket set to open up to 19 new stores over an eight week period.
As a result of the openings, the supermarket, which opened the doors to its first British stores in 1994, has created over 700 new jobs, with 200 new employees celebrating the opening of their new stores today.
All new hourly paid store employees will be amongst the best paid in the industry, following Lidl’s commitment last November to pay the Living Wage, which comes into effect on 1 March this year.
Ingo Fischer, Lidl UK board director for expansion and development, said: “As the UK’s fastest growing supermarket, surpassing 700 stores is yet further proof of our ambitious rate of expansion across Britain. It’s great that more people than ever before have access to our high quality, fresh and locally sourced products at incredible value, and that as a result, we’re able to create more jobs for local communities up and down the country.”
The new stores form part of Lidl UK’s £1.45bn expansion investment in Great Britain across 2017-18, which includes plans to open over 50 new stores and regenerate 30 existing stores in FY 2018. The supermarket also announced plans at the beginning of the year for a major new Regional Distribution Centre in Luton, which is in addition to a further five new warehouses already in the pipeline.
The news follows a bumper Christmas for the grocer, which experienced a sales growth of 16% year on year. Lidl’s success shows no signs of slowing, with the latest Kantar Worldpanel results outlining a sales growth of 16.3% year on year and market share of 5%, making it still the fastest growing supermarket in the UK.