(Bloomberg) — Aldi Stores Ltd. plans to create 4,000 new U.K. jobs next year as the growth of discounters boosts Britain’s otherwise shrinking retail sector.
The German cut-price grocer said it will invest 1.3 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) over the next two years in opening 100 new stores, upgrading a further 100 and making other improvements. Many U.K. retailers are cutting jobs in order to survive the pandemic, though supermarkets have thrived during lockdowns.
Aldi, which entered the U.K. 30 years ago, pledged the investment as it said sales in the U.K. and Ireland rose by 8.3% to 12.3 billion pounds in the year through Dec. 31, 2019, despite the grocery market growing by just 1% overall.
Although the pandemic has fueled online grocery shopping, something Aldi does on only a limited scale, the discounter said the latest data showed its U.K. sales have continued to rise by 10% in the 12 weeks through Sept. 6, with its market share at 8%. Aldi has added 3,000 permanent roles this year.
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