Lidl is set to open another new distribution centre, this time in Bedfordshire near Luton, as part of the supermarket’s £1.45 billion investment in its UK operations by 2019.
The 1 million sq ft warehouse will be more than double the size of any other Lidl regional distribution centre (RDC) in the UK and will service stores across Greater London, creating up to 1,000 new jobs.
The announcement comes after Lidl UK exchanged contracts with the Houghton Regis Management Company on the 58-acre site, and development is set to begin in early 2019.
The RDC will be Lidl’s fourth in Greater London, supporting warehouses in Belvedere, Northfleet and Enfield, and its 16th in the UK.
The new facility will help manage the supply and distribution of food and non-food products to Lidl stores in and around the M25, while also supporting the supermarket’s continued growth in Greater London.
In the next two months the supermarket will open five new London stores, including Shepherds Bush, Walthamstow Central, South Ruislip, Hornchurch and Rosehill.
Ingo Fischer, Lidl UK’s board director for expansion and development, said: “As more London households choose to shop at Lidl, we are committed to the continued investment in our operations and infrastructure to support our growth.
“With five new stores opening in the next two months alone, and further store expansion and development plans in place for the Greater London area across the new financial year and beyond, this new warehouse is vital in supporting our ambitious expansion plans in and around the M25.”
Some 5,000 houses, three primary schools and a further 1m sq ft of commercial and retail space are also planned for construction on the same site as the Lidl warehouse.
A new junction of the M1, J11A, has recently been opened, giving direct access to the 630-acre site.
The Bedfordshire investment follows the opening of two other RDCs in Exeter and Wednesbury in 2017, and the announcement of a further three new warehouses in Doncaster, Bolton and Peterborough.
Construction has also begun on two new facilities in Avonmouth and Eurocentral, Scotland, which will replace existing warehouses in Weston-Super-Mare and Livingston respectively.