// Lidl plans to accelerate UK expansion by opening 230 new stores in the next 3 years
// Lidl previously said it aims to open 50 to 60 stores a year
Lidl is looking to rapidly expand its UK store estate as it finds ways to contend with the Big 4 grocers.
Chief executive UK Christian Hartnagel said he plans to open another 230 stores in the next three years, taking its total UK estate to 1000 by 2023, The Times reported.
Lidl previously said it aims to open 50 to 60 stores a year.
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Meanwhile, fellow discounter Aldi also plans to open about 50 stores a year for the next two years, and between them the discounters now account for 14 per cent of the UK grocery industry, according to researcher Kantar Worldpanel.
The Big 4 grocers have been facing increased pressure from the discounters thanks to the price gap.
Lidl had initially aimed to expand primarily in areas where land was cheap, but it is now focusing on expanding in areas such as London and the southeast.
In early June, Lidl revealed plans to inject £500 million into its London expansion proposal. It secured a 14,000sq ft store site on Tottenham Court Road and said it would open a further 39 other stores in the capital over the next five years.
In the 12 weeks to the end of October, Lidl’s UK sales grew 8.2 per cent.