New £300m RDC will service 150 stores, create up to 1,500 jobs, and be the retailer’s first to feature automation in Britain
Lidl GB has officially opened a £300m RDC in Luton – the largest Lidl warehouse in the world – marking the discounter’s continued commitment to expansion across Britain.
The 1.2 million square foot Regional Distribution Centre, which is half a kilometre in length and could fit three of Lidl’s existing warehouses inside, is located in Houghton Regis, Luton.
It will deliver over 9,400 pallets a day across 150 stores. This far outstrips the reach of Lidl GB’s existing distribution centres, which service approximately 60-80 stores each.
It is the first Lidl GB warehouse to feature automation, helping to store more goods and increase capacity, which in turn is helping to create more jobs.
The RDC also been designed with sustainability front of mind, featuring solar panels that are set to generate 2,000,000 kWH of electricity annually. At certain times throughout the year the warehouse will run purely on solar power.
Additionally, the facility’s delivery fleet is fuelled by biogas from food waste, supporting the discounter’s ambition to have 100 per cent of its fleet diesel-free by 2030.
This milestone comes as Lidl looks to deliver on its commitment to further strengthen its infrastructure as its customer base grows. In 2022 Lidl opened over 50 new stores – more than any other supermarket in Britain – followed by a further 19 stores at the beginning of 2023.
Lidl said the new warehouse is set to create up to 1,500 jobs, at an hourly rate of £11.40, following a 40p rise this month. The retailer said employee’s wages could rise to £12.30 with “length of service”.
Staff benefits also include life assurance and optional health and dental insurance schemes, as well as enhanced holiday entitlement, and a 10 per cent discount in Lidl stores.
The opening is being marked with a ribbon cutting and parade featuring local performers from Luton
Richard Taylor, chief development officer at Lidl GB, said: “The opening of this new RDC in Luton is a seminal moment for Lidl GB. Demand for Lidl has never been higher, and we are seeing an increasing number of people walk through our doors to make savings on every shop.
“The fact that Lidl’s largest RDC in the world is here in Great Britain speaks for itself, not only in terms of us needing to meet the growing demand from customers, but also in terms of our ambition to grow that demand in the future.
“It is a spectacular state-of-the-art site that our team has worked incredibly hard on to get to where we are today. It has the capacity to service 150 stores, which is nearly triple the amount of some of our existing warehouses, demonstrating the true scale of our ambition and growth potential.”
The multi-million-pound investment follows Lidl’s submission of a planning application for a 38-acre site in Gildersome, Leeds – and the announcement that it is recruiting for 400 roles at that location.
Four other Lidl RDCs have also been opened recently – in Motherwell, Peterborough, Doncaster, and a second site in Belvedere.