Lidl plans new distribution site in major Scottish drive

Lidl store, Scotland
Discounter Lidl opened its 90th Scottish store in 2014. The firm plans a new Scottish distribution centre more than twice the size of its current site as well as more Scottish stores.

LIDL plans to more than double the size of its distribution facilities in Scotland by 2016 and to open at least three new stores north of the border this year. The stores are likely to follow the classic Lidl discounter model. Earlier this year the company told Scottish Grocer it had no plans to open  convenience stores.
The discount chain has begun an application process with West Lothian Council to relocate its Scottish distribution centre to Armadale.
The new 71,000 square metre facility would open in late 2016 and replace the 28,000 square metre distribution centre which  the company opened in Livingston in 1996.
Under the plans all employees at the Livingston distribution centre would transfer to the new facility.
Iain Hunter, Livingston warehouse manager, said: “We are shipping more and more stock every day and require a larger warehouse to cope with the demand and anticipated future growth.”
The expansion plans follow  what the firm says is four consecutive years  of growth for Lidl in the UK, which recorded turnover of £3.3bn in 2013.
In that year it also sourced more than £300m worth of products from Scottish suppliers.
Other plans for 2015 include the refurbishment of existing stores, store relocations and the construction of new stores.
The company says the activity will see it provide 500 new full-time and part-time jobs.
Ross Millar, Lidl’s managing director in Scotland, said: “This latest phase in our growth is a testament to the continuing success of Lidl in Scotland.
“The opening of our 90th store in Scotland marked our 20th year of operating here and, along with our planned investment over the next 12 months, signifies our commitment to Scotland.”
Lidl UK operates 610 stores  with nine regional distribution centres in England.
It opened its first Scottish stores at Pollokshaws and Perth in 1994.
The 90th Scottish Lidl outlet was opened by former first minister, Alex Salmond, in Rutherglen last year.
Almost 80% of the Scottish population now lives within a 15 minute drive of a Lidl store.