Lidl has unveiled new expansion plans for the UK creating 2,500 jobs in the process.
The discount supermarket has enjoyed considerable success over the past year and is now looking to build on that with the opening of more stores across the country. It had previously announced a £220 million investment programme which would add 20 more outlets in the UK, pushing its total to 620. Now it is focused on creating more jobs and improving its customer experience.
Lidl stated that it is looking to recruit in-store roles such as bakery and fresh produce managers while also boosting staff numbers at its depot and company headquarters in Wimbledon. Lidl has enjoyed strong growth in recent years and reported a turnover of £3.3 billion in 2013 thanks to a 20 per cent increase in sales over the course of the year.
According to the most recent Kantar Worldpanel figures, it now represents a 3.6 per cent share of the market. In the 12 weeks to May 25th 2014, Lidl had scored a record sales increase of 22.7 per cent and has managed to tap into the middle-class consumer market as its fresh produce product range has jumped from 25 per cent to 40 per cent.
Ronny Gottschlich, Lidl UK's managing director, said: "We're focused on a single goal - giving our customers the freshest, highest-quality products possible at the best value. We operate on a highly efficient business model and source as much as we can locally because it supports UK producers and also limits the financial and environmental impact of transport."
Lidl's expansion plans come in the same week that Sainsbury's announced a partnership with Netto. It marks the return of the Scandinavian discount brand to the UK for the first time since it ended its 14-year stay in 2010. The partnership will see the opening of 15 stores in 2015 with the first to open in the north of England in late 2014.