Jobs boost as discount supermarket Aldi unveils £24m Scottish expansion
Budget supermarket chain Aldi is set to invest £24 million and create hundreds more jobs in Scotland next year as it takes its number of stores north of the Border beyond the 100 threshold reached in 2021.
The German-headquartered firm aims to debut three more Scottish branches in 2022 – two in Aberdeen at Countesswells Road and Hareness Road, and one at Greendykes Road in Broxburn, together creating 150 jobs, and taking its total staff to nearly 3,500 by the end of the year.
Aldi added that since launching in Scotland almost 30 years ago, it has been focused on growing the number of Scottish suppliers and produce on its shelves. In 2021 it surpassed its target of working with more than 90 such producers and stocking 450 items of locally sourced food and drink, and in coming years aims to up the latter to 500.
The business, which says it is the fourth biggest volume retailer in Scotland, also said its support for the local brewing industry will continue in 2022 with its Scottish Beer festivals that have already showcased more than 80 Scottish breweries, resulting in £3m in sales for local suppliers.
In addition, its Supermarket Sweep initiative will again offer support to local foodbanks in 2022 and its Scottish Sports Fund programme will also continue.
Richard Holloway, regional MD for Scotland, said: “The prospects for the coming year look very exciting for Aldi in Scotland. We reached a significant milestone with the opening of our 100th Scottish store in 2021 and we are continuing to demonstrate our commitment to further expansion and investment in our Scottish stores.
“During the course of 2021, we have invested £36m in new store locations and in the next two years we will invest an additional £55m in new stores and extensions, with a further nine stores planned.
“Almost three quarters of our stores are now in our improved Project Fresh store format, providing a more customer-friendly layout with additional space and a brighter shopping experience – and we’re on track to upgrade the remainder by the end of 2023.”
Aldi’s latest plans come as it aims over 2022-2023 to invest more than £55m as part of its ongoing commitment to Scotland. Rival Lidl last month said it was creating 4,000 jobs over the next three years.
Aldi is the fourth biggest volume retailer in Scotland and is Britain’s fifth largest supermarket with over 950 stores and around 38,000 staff
In 2021 Aldi invested a further £20 million in six new stores taking the total of Scottish outlets to more than. The new stores include Hermiston Gait in Edinburgh, Thornybank Industrial Estate in Dalkeith, Portlethen Retail Park in Aberdeen, J24 Retail Park in Govan, Thistle Business Park in Cumnock, and Palace Grounds RP in Hamilton, while a new store in Gateside Commerce Park, Haddington, opened to replace the existing store. Aldi also invested in upgrading its Rutherglen, Strathaven, Forfar, and Inverness stores.
Established in 2009, the Scottish Buying Department – which has grown from just four to a team of 30 – has enabled Aldi to tap into the country’s agricultural and manufacturing base.
The four most recent NFU Scotland ‘shelf watch’ surveys revealed Aldi stocks 100% Scotch Lamb PGI, 96% Scotch Beef PGI, 88% Scottish Chicken and 100% Specially Selected Pork in its everyday ranges, more than any other supermarket in Scotland. This means customers are guaranteed to find the highest quality, locally sourced meat at Aldi stores in Scotland.
Last year, Aldi invested more than £22 million in new chill facilities to help support the growth of its Scottish product range, including constructing a 4,000sq m freezer and a 13,000sq m chiller.