Supermarket chain Lidl UK has signed a land deal to build its largest distribution centre in the country.
Lidl has bought a 58-acre site in Luton where it will build a one million ft2 warehouse, which will be Lidl’s fourth for Greater London and 16th in the UK.
The new warehouse will be almost double the size of any of its other regional distribution centres in the UK and will supply Greater London.
Over the next two months, the supermarket will open five new stores at Shepherds Bush, Walthamstow Central, South Ruislip, Hornchurch and Rosehill in London, taking its UK estate to nearly 700 stores.
Lidl UK board director for expansion and development Ingo Fischer said: “As more London households choose to shop at Lidl, we are committed to the continued investment in our operations and infrastructure to support our growth.
“With five new stores opening in the next two months alone, and further store expansion and development plans in place for the Greater London area across the new financial year and beyond, this new warehouse is vital in supporting our ambitious expansion plans in and around the M25.”
The development deal is part of the first phase of the 630-acre Luton site being led by the Houghton Regis Management Co, a consortium of Aviva Investors, LIH and the Diocese of St Albans, after the opening of the new J11A of the M1.
The development scheme comprises 5,000 houses, three primary schools and a further million ft2 of commercial and retail space.
Lidl has bought the site from Houghton Regis Management Company.
The new distribution centre, which is part of Lidl UK’s £1.45bn expansion investment in the country between 2017 and 2018, comes after the opening of two regional distribution centres in Exeter and Wednesbury in 2017, and the announcement of a further three new warehouses in Doncaster, Bolton and Peterborough.
Winvic Construction has won most of the large distribution centre projects.
Construction also began on two warehouses in Avonmouth and Eurocentral, Scotland, which will replace the existing warehouses in Weston-Super-Mare and Livingston respectively.
Aviva UK real estate investors managing director David Skinner said: “We are delighted to have secured Lidl as an owner occupier on this important strategic land site.
“The wider consented scheme has consent for over 5,000 homes and we intend to commence development in early 2019.”