Aldi has revealed an aim to create more than 2,000 jobs and open 100 new stores next year in ambitious £1.3 billion investment plan.
It comes after the popular budget supermarket chain – which currently has over 920 stores and employs around 38,000 people right across the UK – said it was launching a huge North West recruitment drive earlier this month as it pushed ahead with plans to open more than one new store a week before 2021 is out, with towns and cities such as Canterbury, Swansea and London soon set to welcome new branches.
New stores were also tipped to open in Greater Manchester and the North West region.
On top of those plans, the retailer aims to open a further 100 new stores and a logistics centre in Leicestershire to ramp up its share of the UK grocery market.
This newly-announced £1.3 billion investment plan will pan out over the next two years.
The new jobs at Aldi will add to the 7,000 permanent roles already created at stores across the UK over the past two years, the company said.
The investment announcement also comes after Aldi bosses revealed that the company’s sales soared 10.2% in the UK and Ireland in 2020 to £12.3 billion, and adding that the number of customers during the period increased from 17.6 million to 17.8 million.
Bosses also pointed to industry data that showed more than 60% of households had shopped with Aldi at some point over the year.
Speaking on the investment announcement, Giles Hurley – Chief Executive for Aldi UK and Ireland – said: “As well as delivering record sales, we continued to invest for growth, deploying over £600 million in stores and distribution centres across the UK.
“This helped to create thousands of much-needed jobs and support for British farmers and manufacturers.
“Whilst the cost of responding to the pandemic dampened profits, our decision to return business rate relief was the right thing to do.”
Looking forward, the supermarket announced its ‘Click and Collect’ services have been rolled out to 200 stores nationwide, which offers shoppers the chance to order online for the first time – although the option for home delivery is still not available.
A new checkout-free store is also in the works to open in Greenwich in London.
Featured Image – Aldi UK & Ireland
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”