UK: Lidl plans £1.5 billion expansion

UK: Lidl plans £1.5 billion expansion

Discount supermarket chain Lidl is putting in place plans to invest £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) in continuing expansion in the UK over the next three years, according to reports in The Guardian and Handelsblatt.

The firm said it would use the funds to open 40-50 new stores – an increase on the previous 30-40 – as well as to refresh and refurbish up to 150 of its existing outlets to develop its new "store of the future" concept.

According to the Guardian, the new stores are set to include improved facilities, including self-service checkouts and customer toilets, while Handelsblatt reports that space will also be allocated for baby products. In an attempt to increase the chain's appeal among more affluent shoppers, the new-look stores will also be brighter and easier to manoeuvre through thanks to glass frontages and wider aisles, while longer tills will allow customers to pack directly at the tills, the Guardian reports.

The first of the new outlets, a £2 million ($3 million), 1,400 sq m store in Rushden, Northamptonshire, is set to open this month.

Source: The Guardian / Handelsblatt