Aldi distribution centre in Bedford ‘could create 400 jobs’


About 400 jobs could be created at a new Aldi distribution centre.

The German supermarket has submitted plans for the 88,000 sq m (21 acres) warehouse off Hardwick Hill, Elstow, Bedford.

The regional centre would serve its network of stores across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Bedford Borough Council will consider the application at a later date. If built, it will be the chain’s 12th distribution site in the UK.

Similar centres in Sheppey, Kent, and Sawley, Derbyshire, are also under development.

The news comes after Aldi’s UK chief Matthew Barnes outlined expansion plans that could see it open more than 300 new stores by 2022.

Aldi currently has about 700 British outlets.

Profit slip
Mr Barnes indicated that Aldi could open up to eight stores in some British towns, piling further pressure on its more established rivals.

However, last month the supermarket revealed that profits slipped by nearly a fifth as it was stung by investment costs.

Operating profit dropped 17% to £211.3m last year, due to an ongoing investment drive that saw Aldi commit £450m to opening new stores and improving distribution centres.

But sales rose 13.5% to a record £8.7bn, and Mr Barnes said he was still confident in the group’s growth path.

“More than half of all UK households now regularly shop with us and many more prospective customers tell us they would switch supermarkets if there was an Aldi nearby,” he said.

The emergence of Aldi and fellow German grocer Lidl has shaken the grocery sector’s so-called Big Four – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – which remain locked in a bitter price war sparked by the duo.

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Olivia Wilson
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