German no-frills discount chain Lidl is to open 20 new stores in the UK by the end of the year, creating 2,500 jobs and piling more pressure on the established big four supermarkets.
The announcement came ahead of Tesco’s annual general meeting Friday where under fire chief executive Phillip Clarke was expected to face a barrage of criticism for the group’s lacklustre recent performance.
Former chief executive Sir Terry Leahy recently described the supermarket giant's current performance as very disappointing.
Tesco, (LON:TSCO) saw sales fall sharply in its last quarter and along with its big four rivals Asda, Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) and Morrisons (LON:MRW), has been forced to slash prices and boost promotions to tackle the challenge of Lidl and its German peer Aldi.
Lidl’s sales jumped 20% to £3.3bn in its latest financial year, it revealed overnight, while earlier this week the latest survey of the UK grocery sector showing its market share had reached an all-time high at 3.6%.
The new store investment will cost it £220mln and take the number of Lidl UK stores up to 620 from 600 currently.
It had previously stated it wants a chain of 1,500 shops in the UK eventually.