Discount supermarket Lidl has announced plans to open 40 new stores in London as part of a £500 million expansion plan, creating around 1,500 jobs.
The major investment will take place in the capital over the next five years, and include the creation of its first central London store on Tottenham Court Road.
The investment plan also includes Lidl’s previously announced new head office in Tolworth, south-west London, and the expansion of its Belvedere distribution centre.
New stores will be opened across the capital as part of the expansion strategy, including new outlets in Alperton, East Acton, Hackbridge and Watford.
Lidl said the move will create around 1,500 jobs in the long term.
Its new store planned for Tottenham Court Road, will be its most central store in London and have a 1,300 meters squared area, stocking its full range of products including its popular middle aisle items.
A new distribution centre is also planned to open near to Luton, and will be the company’s fourth site to service Greater London.
Lidl opened its first UK store in 1994 and now has 760 stores and 13 warehouses across the country, as customers have continued to flock to the discounter, alongside rival Aldi, at the expense of some of the UK’s supermarket giants.
Earlier this year, Lidl shrank its minimum size requirement for new London store openings, turning its attention towards smaller inner-city retail units.
The move follows the introduction of Aldi’s new Local sub-brand for smaller London sites, with the first store opening in Balham in March.
Christian Hartnagel, chief executive officer of Lidl GB, said: “It’s coming up to 25 years since we first launched in London, and in that time we’ve grown to almost 90 stores, employing more than 5,000 people.
“London is at the heart of our growth plans across Great Britain, and we are proud to be in a position where we’re continuing to create new jobs.
“Our £500 million investment reflects the scale of opportunity we have to bring our quality produce to even more of the capital’s communities, at prices that make it affordable to everyone.”
Ingo Fischer, chief development officer of Lidl GB, said: “We are incredibly excited about our plans to open a new Lidl store on Tottenham Court Road, right in the heart of London.
“This comes as a direct result of continued customer demand for the Lidl offering across the capital, and joins a pipeline of new stores planned for the near future.”
Mr Fischer added that these will be supported by investment in operations and infrastructure, “including a new distribution centre near Luton, the expansion of our Belvedere warehouse and, of course, our new London headquarters”.