German supermarket Lidl to increase London presence

London (AFP) –


German supermarket group Lidl on Wednesday said it will open more than 40 new stores in and around London over the next five years, creating 1,500 jobs.

The discount chain will open a supermarket in Tottenham Court Road in London's West End as part of its new stores and head office investment costing £500 million ($637 million, 562 million euros), Lidl said in a statement.

Along with German rival Aldi, Lidl has shaken up Britain's supermarket landscape in recent years -- forcing the country's biggest retailer Tesco and the likes of Walmart-owned Asda to become more competitive on pricing of food and household items.

"London is at the heart of our growth plans across Great Britain, and we are proud to be in a position where we're continuing to create new jobs," the head of Lidl's UK operations, Christian Hartnagel, said in Wednesday's statement.

Lidl opened its first British stores in 1994 and has since grown to a network of 760 sites and 22,500 staff across the UK.