German budget-retailer Lidl signaled the latest phase in its U.K. expansion with plans for a new head office three times the size of the existing one.
The new office in Tolworth, southwest London, will house about 750 workers when it is ready towards the end of 2018, Lidl said by e-mail Wednesday. About 400 employees are located at the current headquarters in nearby Wimbledon.
The plan marks “another milestone in providing the infrastructure needed to cope with our ambitious store expansion program,” Ingo Fischer, Lidl U.K.’s director of property and development, said in a statement.
With market leader Tesco Plc and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc both cutting head-office staff this year, Lidl’s move underlines the diverging fortunes of the U.K.’s supermarket chains. While Lidl and German counterpart Aldi are scooping an ever-increasing share of spending with their no-frills offers, all the mainstream supermarkets are struggling for growth.
Since entering the U.K. in 1994, Lidl has increased its store count in the country to more than 620, and has plans to almost double that number. Last year, the retailer’s U.K. sales jumped 21 percent to about 4 billion pounds ($6.3 billion). The company declined to comment on its profit for the period.
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