Aldi is on the lookout for sites in Stonehaven and Dingwall as its expansion drive in Scotland continues.
The company has said it is planning to open 20 new stores north of the border.
Now the UK’s fifth largest supermarket chain, Aldi currently has 96 shops in Scotland and more than 900 across the UK.
Ciaran Aldridge, the firm’s UK national property director, said: “We have been investing in Britain for more than 30 years now, but we know that there are still areas that either do not have an Aldi at all, or that need another store to meet customer demand. ”
The chain said it is looking for freehold town centre, or edge-of-centre sites suitable for development.
Prominent main road locations
It added that each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000sq ft store, with around 100 parking spaces, “ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access.”
If it is successful in securing a site in Dingwall, it will be the discount supermarket chain’s first store north of Inverness.
Mr Aldridge added: “Shoppers are increasingly looking to get unbeatable prices on their weekly shop without compromising on quality.
That’s why, more so than ever, we’re keen to explore all opportunities to open new stores across the country.”
Earlier this year, Aldi formally lodged proposals to build its fourth Aberdeen store, a 14,000sq ft shop at the junction of the city’s Wellington Road and Hareness Road.
The development is expected to create up to 35 jobs.
The company currently has two stores in Aberdeen, at Boulevard Retail Park and Cornhill, while planning permission for a third, in Countesswells, was granted in September.
It is also preparing to open a branch in Portlethen, in Aberdeenshire, by the end of this year, creating 18 new jobs.
At the start of 2021, Aldi said it was planning to invest more than £3.8 million in new and upgraded stores across the north-east and Highlands over the year, including the refurbishment of its shop at Inshes Retail Park, in Inverness, which was recently completed.
The firm has branches in Inverurie, Ellon, Peterhead, Elgin, Aviemore and Fort William.
It aims to have 1,200 shops in the UK by 2025.