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5 August, 2020 - 21:12 By Tony Quested

Hundreds of new jobs as Lidl opens £70m distribution centre in Peterborough

Lidl GB started operations at its new £70 million regional distribution centre (RDC) in Peterborough last weekend, employing 400 people with plans to recruit a further 50 this year. 

The new RDC forms part of Lidl’s commitment to invest £1.45 billion in Great Britain across 2019 and 2020.

The new 45,000 m² RDC, which is the equivalent of more than eight football pitches, will replace an existing smaller warehouse at Lutterworth, which will continue to operate as a non-food warehouse, and will strengthen Lidl’s infrastructure across the region.

Through the hard work and dedication of Lidl colleagues, the warehouse will open on schedule, despite the impact of COVID-19 on the wider economy. Lidl’s wider warehouse expansion plans are also continuing, with new distribution centres planned for Luton and Bolton, along with the expansion of its existing warehouses in Belvedere and Bridgend.

The opening at Peterborough follows confirmation of plans to open 100 new stores across Great Britain throughout 2021 and 2022, and marks the latest in Lidl’s rapid expansion plan, as the discounter continues to invest in its UK infrastructure. 

Lidl GB chief operations officer Matthew Heslop said: “As a supermarket it has been our priority over the past months to ensure that the communities we serve continue to have access to much needed food supplies and essentials.

“This is very much still our focus and with the addition of our new Peterborough distribution centre we are further strengthening our logistics and operations to ensure that we can continue to serve as many customers as possible with quality food at Lidl prices.”

Stephen Hutchinson, Lidl regional director for Peterborough added: “I am immensely proud of all of our colleagues who have worked tirelessly to ensure this warehouse can open on time. 

“Keeping on track with the build, and the preparations to go operational under these exceptional circumstances, has only been possible because of their hard work and we are incredibly grateful to everyone that has been involved.”

Strategically located next to the A1(M), the warehouse will initially serve 48 stores and will use a natural refrigerant system, which heats and cools the entire building, along with solar panels that will generate 10 per cent of the total electricity required by the building.

Lidl team members at the new RDC will benefit from a competitive starting salary of £9.30 per hour, which matches the voluntary living wage rates and is higher than the Government’s National Living Wage – making Lidl employees some of the highest paid in the supermarket sector.

Since establishing itself in the UK in 1994, Lidl has experienced continuous growth and today has over 25,000 employees, over 800 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales. 

As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. With a presence in 32 countries around the world, the supermarket, which has more than 287,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 10,800 stores and more than 160 distribution centres in 29 countries. 

Lidl GB sources two-thirds of its products from British suppliers.

• The Schwarz Group (Kaufland, Lidl) has been Europe’s largest food retailer since 2014 and generated a turnover of €104.3 billion in financial year 2018, the last figures available.

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