As deep discounters expand their network of stores across the UK, distribution points are just as critical to their success as those supermarkets.
Lidl GB has moved quickly to scale up those operations, opening four regional sites in Motherwell, Peterborough, Doncaster and Belvedere over the past five years. Now it says it will build another in Leeds, 54,000 square meters large on 35 acres in Gildersome, with approval from its City Council.
The network of distribution centres ensure that British consumers have their pick of fresh fruits and vegetables and staple items. But they also create jobs. In fact, Lidl says it will be hiring some 1,500 colleagues to help at those sites, part of what it says is a “commitment to fostering local economic growth.”
The one in Leeds promises 400 positions once it is fully operational.
“Our ambitious warehouse plans demonstrate our commitment to investing not only in our distribution network but the country as a whole,” Richard Taylor, Chief Development Officer at Lidl GB, said. “An RDC in Leeds would be a great addition to the North, while we continue to keep a lookout for new sites in the South.”
Taylor said Lidl has poured some £700m into its regional centres, which now boasts more than 240,000 square meters. But the chain’s ascension in the UK and its future plans means they can’t stop there.
“We need more space and people to help us meet our growth targets,” Taylor said. “We’ve built an impressive store portfolio across the country and our vision to have over 1,100 stores in Great Britain remains unchanged.”
Lidl currently has 960 stores and 31,000 employees. A new distribution in Luton is set to open that alone with means 1,500 more jobs as it serves more than 150 stores in London and suburbs. Those colleagues will earn a minimum of £11.95, while those outside of the M25 will get a minimum of £11 an hour. All of the positions are permanent, though some are part-time.
“Our success is dependent on the amazing work that colleagues do and we’re looking forward to welcoming thousands more throughout 2023,” Ryan McDonnell, Chief Executive Officer, Lidl GB said.