Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Discount Retail Chain Lidl GB (owned by the Schwarz Group) has unveiled plans for 58 new store sites in Scotland as part of a push to create 4,000 jobs across the UK including hundreds north of the Border over the next three years. Executives said they expect to reach the target of having 1,000 stores by 2023 and set a new ambition for 1,100 sites by 2025.
The move comes as the grocer published its accounts for the year to end of February at Companies House, showing how it benefitted during the pandemic from its position as an “essential” retailer.
Sales jumped 12 per cent to £7.7 billion (US$10.2Bn) and pre-tax profits hit £9.8 million (US$13m) after a £25.2m loss a year earlier, according to the accounts. Despite the strong sales during the financial year, it also revealed Brexit has had a detrimental impact on the business. The accounts state since the end of the transition period at the end of 2020 there has been an increase in administration for importing and exporting and warned customs agents are being stretched, which is limiting their ability to process goods more efficiently. Lidl added it had suffered from delays at the UK border due to missing Government guidelines for some shipping lines, and seen costs rise on an item-by-item and shipment-by-shipment basis due to customs duties and import costs. Executives also said they opened 55 stores and during the first year of the pandemic and spent £17.5m (US23.4m) on boosting staff pay, including £8m on hourly wage hikes and £9.5m (US12.7m) on bonuses during the Covid-19 crisis. It will reduce plastic in its own-brand packaging by 40% by 2025 and cut the total amount of own-label packaging by 25% in the same year.
Christian Hartnagel, Lidl GB chief executive, said: “We delivered an impressive trading performance in the period which was supported by our continued investment in new and existing stores, product innovation and our people.”