October 16, 2019 / 9:18 AM / a month ago

Lidl to spend $19 billion over five years with British suppliers

FILE PHOTO: Lidl's logos are seen on its truck and the exterior of its new Scottish distribution centre as it commences operations in Motherwell, Scotland, Britain October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - German-owned discount supermarket Lidl GB has vowed to spend 15 billion pounds ($19 billion) with British suppliers over the next five years, committing to increase sales of local meat, poultry and fresh produce.

Lidl and rival Aldi have changed the shape of the UK grocery sector, stealing market share from industry leader Tesco (TSCO.L), Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), Asda (WMT.N) and Morrisons (MRW.L) by offering cut-throat prices in no-frills stores.

To deepen its relations with British suppliers, Lidl, part of the Schwarz retail group, said it would introduce longer-term contracts with suppliers to help them invest and expand.

“Our business is only ever as good as our suppliers’, so our investments and commitments are key to ensuring that they can invest and expand with us,” said Ryan McDonnell, Chief Commercial Officer at Lidl GB.

Lidl GB currently trades from 770 stores and has a market share of 6%. It is planning to open 50-60 new stores across 2019.

Its sales rose 8.2% in the 12 weeks to Oct. 6, according to industry data published on Tuesday.

Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by James Davey

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