German retailer Aldi has begun an expansion drive which will see it hire 161 new staff across Kent, including Tunbridge Wells, as well as boosting salaries. Aldi is now the UK’s fifth-largest supermarket, but plans to grow even further by creating 2,000 permanent new jobs across the UK this year. Jobs in Kent will be both full-time and part-time and will be at all levels, the company confirmed. Positioning itself as the UK’s best-paying supermarket, Aldi last month announced a second pay increase this year for its store employees.
From September, in-store employees outside the M25 will earn a minimum hourly rate of £10.50, with paid breaks included. Announcing the Kent recruitment, Aldi said it would recruit posts from store assistant and deputy manager all the way up to store manager, with salaries of up to £33,815.
Kelly Stokes, recruitment director at Aldi UK, said: “As we continue to grow and make Aldi accessible to even more shoppers, we need more amazing colleagues across the country to help make that possible. “We look forward to welcoming even more great people in Kent to become a part of our success.”
Aldi opened its first supermarket in Tunbridge Wells at the Great Lodge Retail Park on the North Farm industrial estate in November 2019, and had planned to open a second store in Eridge Road. However, the supermarket chain was forced to sell the plot in late 2021 when fellow German discounter Lidl opened a shop off Linden Park Road – about 100 yards away.
Following that setback, Aldi said this summer that it would pay a ‘finder’s fee’ to anyone – staff or member of the public – who could find it a location to buy or lease. Speaking in July, national property director George Brown said Aldi UK was still in the hunt for a new store location in Tunbridge Wells.
“Our finder’s fee is available to anyone who can find Aldi an appropriate site, so we’d encourage people to share any suitable suggestions and get in touch.”