Supermarket giant Aldi has vowed to create thousands of new jobs by spending £1.3bn to open 100 new stores by the end of 2021.
The discount chain says its sales are still growing, encouraging it to launch an expansion that will see 4,000 jobs created next year amid long-term plans to develop a 1,200-store portfolio by 2025. It will also invest in upgrading stores and distribution centres.
Aldi today reported that sales increased by 8% to £12.28bn in 2019. Pre-tax profits rose by 49% to £271.5m for the year.
The company saw sales grow throughout the pandemic and has vowed to keep its prices “the lowest in the market” even as rivals including Tesco and Morrisons have pushed prices lower.
Giles Hurley, chief executive for Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “The response to the challenge presented by the Covid-19 pandemic was both heroic and historic.
“If there is a positive to take from the situation, it’s that supermarkets, suppliers and shoppers can overcome the greatest of challenges when we work together.
“With the UK’s economic outlook increasingly uncertain, families are more concerned about their grocery bills than ever.
“We’ve seen before that our customers need us most in times of financial hardship, which is why our commitment to remain Britain’s lowest-priced supermarket is more important than ever.”
Aldi and rival discounter Lidl have largely failed to benefit from the surge in home orders during the pandemic as rivals have longer-established delivery operations.
But in May Aldi unveiled plans to deliver groceries to homes in the UK for the first time, working with Deliveroo, while earlier this month it expanded into click and collect orders for the first time.