Lidl has announced a £220m national expansion programme to boost its estate to 620 stores by the end of the year.
The expansion follows four years of sales and profit growth in the UK, with sales up by 20% over the past 12 months. Its market share rose to a record 3.6% in June, up from 3% in 2013 when it operated 600 stores.
Following a £170m investment in 2013, the discounter “significantly” increased the amount of space allocated to fresh fruit and veg, meat, poultry and fresh fish, and installed bakeries in all of its UK stores.
In September Lidl will also open its ninth regional distribution centre to support the surge in sales of fresh products, which have increased from 25% of turnover to over 40% in the past four years.
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.
“This latest phase in our growth is a testament to the continuing success of Lidl in the UK. People all over the country are realising they can make huge savings on their weekly grocery shop with us, without compromising on quality.”
The group claims it will create 2,500 new jobs as part of the expansion plans.