Aldi’s pledge to create 35,000 jobs by 2022 could be blinding government and local councils to the threat they pose to local stores and their communities, retailers say.

The discounter has outlined an ambitious plan to more than double its store numbers to 1,000 by 2022, creating thousands of jobs in the process.

However, Dennis Williams, of Premier Broadway in Edinburgh, said the expansion of discounters such as Aldi was damaging local economies.

Dennis, who with his wife Linda is fighting to prevent an Aldi opening nearby, said: “It’s taking jobs from small businesses who close as a result of new supermarkets opening. All our money goes into the local economy - our accountant, VAT person, plumber, electrician, fridge engineer and staff are all local. We can employ people on flexible hours, as well as people under 18, which supermarkets can’t. But where does the likes of Aldi and Tesco’s money go? To shareholders who don’t care where the profit comes from.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman added that multiples’ job creation claims in the past have turned out to be empty promises. “Our research has shown that supermarkets in the past have been found to make grand job creation claims, while actually reducing the number of staff in their stores.

“We urge government and local councils to look carefully at the job creation pledges being made, especially in areas where new stores are out of town. In these areas, the opening of a new store has the potential to threaten jobs in retailers within the town centre.”