Supermarket Aldi is to open 15 new stores across the UK before the end of the year, creating hundreds of jobs.
New locations will include Edinburgh, Orpington and Poole, adding to the chain’s 930 existing stores.
The new stores form part of Aldi’s commitment to invest more than £1.3 billion by 2023, with plans to open 100 new stores over the next two years.
Each new store creates around 30 jobs on average.
Ciaran Aldridge, national property director at Aldi UK, said: “There are still too many people for whom shopping at Aldi isn’t a convenient option.
“We’re committed to changing that and opening nearly four new stores a week before Christmas clearly demonstrates our progress with this.”
Aldi also announced that it is encouraging local charities, community groups and food banks to register to receive surplus food donations this Christmas.
As part of the supermarket’s pledge to donate 10 million meals this year to families across the UK facing hunger, it has committed to give more meals than ever to good causes over the festive period.
With all Aldi stores set to close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, the retailer wants to ensure that any products approaching the end of their shelf life reach families who might otherwise miss out this Christmas.
Mary Dunn, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “Our food donations scheme operates year round, but we know that Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for the families and communities we support.
“That’s why we are so committed to increasing the number of meals we donate over the festive season, and we look forward to working with local charities this Christmas to help us meet our 10 million meals target for the year.”