The British arm of discounter Lidl has set a new target to have 1,100 stores by the end of 2025, creating up to 4,000 new jobs in the process.
Lidl GB, part of Germany's Schwarz retail group, had a previous target of 1,000 stores by the end of 2023, which it said it was on track to reach. Sites of particular interest include 'town centres, retail parks and metropolitan locations', the group said.
It currently trades from about 880 stores, having opened 55 in 2020-21, with 26,000 employees.
Britain's food retailing sector has been transformed in the past decade by the rise of Lidl and fellow German-owned discounter Aldi, which have driven down returns at the Big Four of Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Asda.
'A Store A Week'
"We remain committed to our bricks and mortar strategy and maintaining our store opening pace; roughly a store a week for the next four years," said chief executive Christian Hartnagel.
Lidl, which has a 6.2% share of the UK grocery market but does not trade online, said revenue in the year to Feb. 28 rose 12% to £7.7 billion (€9.15 billion), resulting in a pretax profit of £9.8 million (€11.65 million), against a loss of £25.2 million (€29.9 million) in 2019-20.
Hartnagel said the trading performance reflected investment in new and existing stores, product innovation and staff.
The company said it invested £498 million on land and fixed assets during the year. The group recently announced that it was on-track to become a carbon-neutral business by next year.