Lidl steps up expansion with plans for giant distribution hub in Devon, creating 500 jobs

FILES- Picture taken on December 10, 200
The Devon scheme will be Lidl's 12th regional distribution centre when it opens next year (Source: Getty)

Lidl has revealed plans to build a new distribution centre in Devon, as the fast-growing discounter presses ahead with its expansion in the south west of England.

The supermarket chain bought the site in Clyst Honiton near Exeter airport in February from Sainsbury’s after the rival chain aborted its own plans for a depot.

Read More: Discounter pick up the space race left by Big Four supermarkets

It has submitted plans to East Devon District Council for a 50,000 square metre warehouse to support its burgeoning portfolio of stores in the south west, paving the way for 500 new jobs in the area.

Work on the scheme is expected to start this summer, with a view to having the warehouse up and running by September 2017.

Lidl and its German peer Aldi have continued to seize further market share and put pressure on the Big Four, with Lidl aiming to eventually double the number of its stores to 1,500 from 630 today.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel data shows Lidl grew sales by 17.7 per cent to £1.1bn in the 12 weeks to the end of March to take 4.4 per cent of the market.

Read More: How Lidl's became the UK's fastest growing supermarket

It currently has nine distribution centres following previous announcements to open warehouses in Southampton and Wednesbury, making Devon its 12th when it opens.

Adrienne Howells, Lidl UK’s head of warehouse expansion, said: "It’s incredibly encouraging that our sales growth is consistently outperforming the market, but this requires a solid infrastructure that enables us to cope with growing customer demand.

"A new regional distribution centre in East Devon will help to alleviate pressure on our other warehouses which are currently servicing the region, and will support new stores that we hope to open across the South West in the coming years."

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