Aldi has pledged to create another 4,000 jobs as part of its plans to open 100 stores by the end of next year.
The supermarket has already hired 3,000 staff this year thanks to booming demand for food during lockdown.
Aldi has also expanded its existing £1billion investment over two years to £1.3bn – the largest in its 30-year history.
The new stores will be opened in London and the south-east, and it will soon open its 900th shop in a former Waitrose in Sandhurst, Berkshire – on the way to a target of 1,200 stores by 2025. Aldi is also expanding its online business, taking its click-and-collect trial from one store to 15 in the next few weeks. Customers can also order online via Deliveroo from 20 stores.
The expansion poses a fresh challenge to the Big Four supermarkets, with the German discounter promising to undercut its bigger rivals in a Christmas price war. Experts believe consumers, many of whom face job losses and financial uncertainty as the recession bites, will look to save money on their food shop.
Asda and Morrisons have slashed prices on hundreds of products, while Tesco promised to match Aldi on hundreds of cupboard staples.
Aldi’s UK chief executive Giles Hurley said: ‘Our rivals may drop their prices but we will always respond by dropping prices further.’ The budget grocer’s market share has flattened in recent months leading some analysts to predict the UK has reached ‘peak Aldi’.
But despite being left behind as its rivals capitalised on the lockdown boom in online shopping, it still recorded ‘solid’ 10 per cent sales growth in the three months to September 9.
Hurley said: ‘It has been an absolutely extraordinary time for the supermarkets, I’ve never known anything like it.’