Aldi pledges to create 35,000 new jobs in Britain
German-owned discount retailer Aldi vowed Monday to create 35,000 new jobs in Britain by 2022, more than doubling its workforce and store network to meet booming demand.
The company will invest £600 million ($953 million, 765 million euros) over the next eight years as discounters like Aldi and German rival Lidl continue to win customers in Britain from traditional supermarkets Asda, Morrison, Sainsbury and Tesco.
Aldi announced the news in the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron and finance minister George Osborne at its British headquarters in Atherstone, Warwickshire, in central England.
"The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer today welcomed plans from Aldi to create 35,000 new jobs over the next eight years as it strives to grow store numbers to 1,000 by 2022," it said in the statement.
"The investment will see Aldi more than double its employee numbers in the UK as it opens over 550 new stores between now and 2022.
"The group currently employs around 24,000 staff in Britain.
Discount chains boomed in Britain during the sharp economic downturn as consumers tightened their belts to save cash, and remain popular despite the economy's steady recovery this year.
Aldi and Lidl's combined share of Britain's grocery market stands at 8.
3 percent, according to recent data from retail consultancy Kantar Worldpanel.
"Aldi's plans to create tens of thousands more jobs across the country are a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to back business, create more jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain," added Cameron on Monday.
The new jobs at Aldi will be in a range of roles, both in stores and within the group's offices and regional distribution centres.
"Our expansion plans mean that we can accommodate growing shopper numbers, while ensuring that there is an Aldi store only a short drive away from people, no matter where they live in the country," said Aldi UK managing director Matthew Barnes.
"We are opening our doors across the UK, making it even easier for people to shop and save with us.
"The company revealed in September that its British sales rallied 36 percent to £5.
3 billion in 2013, while pre-tax profits surged 65 percent to a record £261 million.
In recent years, Britain's biggest retailer Tesco has suffered in the face of fierce competition from discounters, which offer limited product ranges, and traditional supermarket rivals including Wal-Mart division Asda.
In addition, Tesco faces a criminal investigation by Britain's Serious Fraud Office after the troubled supermarket group overstated its profits by £263 million as a result of accounting errors.
© 2014 AFP