Aldi is building on its recent success by unveiling plans for a major expansion of its operations.
The discount supermarket is aiming to increase its store numbers to 1,000 across the UK, creating 35,000 new jobs in the process. Aldi has earmarked the opening of 550 new stores nationwide over the coming years with 54 already launched in 2014 alone. The supermarket added that between 60 and 65 are planned for next year, increasing its presence in the grocery sector.
Both Aldi and Lidl have been making great strides in recent months. The discounters have been increasing pressure on the more traditional retailers such as Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's. These firms have been making cuts in a bid to compete with Aldi and Lidl.
Morrisons has become the first supermarket to introduce a price check scheme which includes both the discounters. Officials stated that the initiative will mean Morrisons is committed to matching any lower price offered for a similar product by the traditional supermarkets, Aldi or Lidl.
Aldi's expansion is set to include an apprenticeship programme supported by a new Apprenticeship Academy situated at its offices and distribution centre in Bolton. The company stated that it wants to create at least one apprenticeship position per store, per year. This will amount to between 600 and 1,000 apprentices every year during Aldi's store opening plan.
Matthew Barnes, group managing director of Aldi UK, said: "Our expansion plans mean that we can accommodate growing shopper numbers, while ensuring that there is an Aldi store only a short drive away from people, no matter where they live in the country.
"We are opening our doors across the UK, making it even easier for people to shop and save with us."
Aldi is aiming to boast a portfolio of 1,000 UK stores by 2022.