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German chain gaining market share

Lidl to open more stores, build warehouse and create 500 jobs

LidlDiscount supermarket group Lidl is to open at least three more stores in Scotland, creating 500 jobs, and is relocating its distribution centre to a bigger unit in West Lothian.

The company, along with fellow German operator Aldi, has been gaining market share against the established British supermarket groups and is now in its fourth consecutive year of growth in the UK.

Apart from adding three or more stores, it plans to refurbish many of its existing 90 outlets and relocate others. It currently employs 1,800 staff.

Its existing distribution centre in Livingston opened in 1996 and has since received several extensions creating a total warehouse area in excess of 28,000 sq metres. The new 71,000 sq metres facility at Southdale, Armadale, will open towards the end of next year.

Lidl opened its first stores in Glasgow and Perth 20 years ago and now sources more than £300 million of products from Scottish suppliers.

Group turnover reached £3.3 billion in 2013 and sales have increased by 20% over the last 12 months, helping it to grow market share to 3.5%. It had its most successful Christmas trading period yet in 2014 and turnover is expected to hit £4 billion for the current financial year.

Lidl UK operates more than 610 stores and nine regional distribution centres in England, Wales and Scotland

Iain Hunter, Livingston warehouse manager, said: “The rise in customer numbers and increase in sales means we are operating an even busier warehouse than ever before. We are now shipping more and more stock every day to our store network across Scotland and, as a result, we now require a new, larger warehouse to cope with the demand and anticipated future growth.”

Sandra Carter of EWP, the developer behind the Southdale development said: “The arrival of this major employer into Armadale marks a new and exciting  era for the town.”

>> See Comment by Terry Murden: Why our desire for low prices is a curse on fine food and drink

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