Value retailer Lidl is planning to expand in central London by opening new supermarkets in some of the capital’s most desirable neighbourhoods.
The German discounter is looking to compete with the likes of Waitrose by bringing its stores to exclusive postcodes such as Chelsea, Notting Hill, Highgate and Mayfair.
Lidl’s UK property director Richard Taylor pledged that prices would be the same in the new generation of “posh stores” as elsewhere in the UK.
He told the Evening Standard: “The nature of our store concepts mean that customers will be able to carry out their full weekly shop no matter which store they visit, and have confidence that prices will remain consistent across all locations.
We are looking forward to offering our fantastic value and quality products to more customers, as well as bringing new jobs and investment across London.”
Bosses at the supermarket are looking for 281 new locations within range of the M25 as part of its drive to more than double the number of UK stores to as many as 1,500.
Lidl’s currently has just five stores within five miles of the Buckingham Palace postcode, all of which are south of the river. By contrast, there are 56 Tesco stores within three miles of the Queen’s London residence.
Britain’s eighth biggest grocer is looking for sites of between 10,000 and 28,000sq ft, enough for a small to medium-sized supermarket but bigger than its typical convenience stores.
Lidl has recently outlined more ambitious plans to stretch across the pond to the US in the next three years.
The announcement by Lidl came after fellow discounter Aldi’s US operation said in June that it would invest around $3bn into opening new stores, operating a total of 2,000 stores by the end of 2018.
Analysts and others say the moves threaten to pressure American discount chains like Wal-Mart and Save-A-Lot, but could also further shake up the wider US market.