Aldi eyes 1,000 UK shops by 2022
Aldi has unveiled plans to create 35,000 UK jobs over the next eight years as it aims to grow its store portfolio to 1,000 by 2022.
Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor George Osborne welcomed the news and called it a "vote of confidence" in the government's long-term economic plan to back business.
Cameron met with Aldi group managing directors Matthew Barnes and Roman Heini at the UK headquarters in Atherstone, Warwickshire, to hear about the discounter's plans to invest more than £600m in the expansion across the country.
Aldi said it would more than double its employee numbers in the UK thanks to the proposals as it opens another 550 stores between now and 2022. This includes at least one apprenticeship position per store, per year, with between 600 and 1,000 apprentices taken on each year.
Apprentice training and development will be supported by a new academy located at Aldi's offices and distribution centre in Bolton, which is set to open in March 2015.
The budget chain has continued to eat away at the market share of the big four supermarkets in 2014. Aldi revealed in September (2014) it added almost £1.4bn to its top line to hit record heights and boost profits by £100m in 2013. Pre-tax profit soared by 65.2 per cent to £260.9m as UK sales reached a record high of £5.27bn.
UK group managing director Matthew Barnes 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."
Roman Heini, fellow group managing director of Aldi UK, added: "As well as growing store numbers, we are investing in our operations to ensure we continue to meet and exceed customer expectations.
"This includes buying more locally produced products, expanding our fresh food range and making sure customers always get the products and service they need. This approach is helping us to grow our market share and driving our investment in the UK."