Discount supermarket giant Lidl today declared it would be opening 30 new stores in London by the end of 2023 as it opened its 100th in the capital in Beckton.
Historically, high rents have been seen as prohibitive for massive expansion of the brand in the city as they have squeezed its margins, leaving it struggling to offer its low prices. But today it claimed it would be taking on the established supermarkets' convenience stores.
It said the expansion would create around 1,400 jobs, "helping to meet demand in London locations that do not have access to Lidl’s discount offering".
Convenience store-sized supermarkets are known for higher prices than traditional ones, but Lidl said it would beat them on price as it does in its bigger stores.
The company said: "Lidl’s strategy for London involves being increasingly flexible on the type of sites needed for new stores, whether that be on the high street, retail parks, shopping centres or mixed-use sites."
The need to consider new types of store in cramped and pricey London has led it to take space in developments where housing and offices are being built, such as in Richmond, where its store currently being built will have a school located above it,
Lidl GB Chief Development Officer Ingo Fischer added: “We’re embracing the wide range of locations that London has to offer to help meet customer demand. With plans in place for more stores across the capital we look forward to welcoming many more customers through our doors whilst continuing to identify and secure new sites that do not currently benefit from a discount offering.”
Lidl said it had a £500m investment plan for the capital over the next five years including the construction on its new head office in Tolworth, south west London, housing 800 staff in 250,000 square feet of office space.
Work is also ongoing at its distribution centres in Belvedere and Luton, which will serve Lidl’s growing store estate in Greater London.
Shop staff at Lidl start on £10.75 an hour with the potential of up to £11.70 within the M25.
Lidl and Aldi appeared to suffer from lockdown as they do not offer online home delivery services.