Supermarket chain Aldi has today announced an expansion drive, including the opening of a new store in the north-east, which will lead to the creation of 600 jobs across Scotland next year.
The shop at Portlethen Retail Park is one of four Scottish outlets the German firm is planning to launch in 2021 in a £20 million investment.
It also revealed plans to refurbish seven stores and launch a “click and collect” service north of the border for the first time.
The expansion will see the number of Aldi supermarkets in Scotland reach triple figures.
Richard Holloway, the company’s regional managing director for Scotland said: “During an unprecedented year our Aldi colleagues and thousands of suppliers rose to the challenge of feeding the nation with tremendous skill and courage.
“As we look forward to 2021, our commitment to investment and expansion in Scotland continues and we are excited be to opening a further four Aldi stores next year and, of course, reaching our significant 100th store milestone.”
Aldi said the new store openings, which also comprise shops at Dalkeith, Govan in Glasgow, and Haddington, will create 150 jobs.
The programme of refurbishment of existing outlets will lead to the creation of more in-store space for fresh, chilled and food to go ranges.
Extensions to four stores will also be completed next year.
The launch in Scotland of the click and collect service follows a successful trial in England. It will be in addition to the Deliveroo on-demand delivery Aldi currently offers from eight of its Scottish stores.
Mr Holloway continued: “While our focus very much remains in bricks and mortar shopping, the launch of our click and collect service in Scotland is perhaps one of our most significant initiatives yet, expanding our existing e-commerce business to bring our full range of groceries online for the first time.
“Our success has been driven by the customers who put their trust in Aldi every time they shop with us. This is what enables us to keep investing in Scotland – in our products, our prices, our people and in the communities we serve. We are excited through our continued store expansion to be able to serve even more customers, offering them quality Scottish produce at exceptional prices.”
Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the first store opening in Scotland by Aldi, which has three outlets in Aberdeen and others in communities in Aberdeenshire, the Highlands and Moray.
The company is the UK’s fifth largest supermarket chain, with more than 900 stores nationwide and around 36,000 employees.
The firm said it plans to expand the range of Scottish products it stocks and has announced it aims to his a new target of 500 locally-sourced lines in the next two years.
In 2009, it established a Scottish buying department, which has grown from an original team of four to 25.
They work with more than 90 local suppliers around Scotland and the chain’s supermarkets currently stock around 450 Scottish products.
Aldi said it has invested more than £22m in new facilities to support the growth of its Scottish product range, which has included the construction of a 140,000sq ft chiller and a 43,000sq ft freezer, opened in April.