Discount supermarket chain Lidl has announced plans to increase the hourly wages for 20,000 of its front line colleagues across the UK.
The grocer said that entry-level wages will rise from £9.30 ($12.20) per hour to £9.50 outside of London, and £10.75 to £10.85 within the M25.
This means that employees will receive a minimum of 78p more than the national minimum wage per hour outside of London and as much as £2.13 more within the capital.
The move, which will benefit more than 80% of the company’s British workforce, represents an extra £8m investment.
It is the sixth consecutive year that the German discounter has increased hourly wages for its staff. New wages form into effect from the supermarket’s financial year in March 2021.
Christian Hartnagel, chief executive of Lidl Great Britain, said: “It is only right that we increase the income for our colleagues who are the backbone of our business.”
“This is about recognising their hard work and dedication in keeping the nation fed during a year like no other,” he said. “They have served our customers through extremely challenging times and we will always be there to support them in return.”
It forms part of Lidl’s wider plans to invest £1.3bn in the UK next year and in 2022.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Lidl has continued to open new stores across the country, with not one of its staff members being placed on the government’s furlough scheme. It currently has a target of 1,000 stores by the end of 2023.
Supermarket sales rose by 10.6% in the four weeks to the start of October, market research firm Kantar revealed last month.
“Shoppers are moving a greater proportion of their eating and drinking back into the home,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.
“This is likely a response to rising COVID-19 infection rates and greater restrictions on opening hours in the hospitality sector.”
The seven days to 27 September were the busiest since March, with 107 million trips to supermarkets recorded in the UK. This number was still a far cry from the 175 million seen just prior to the first national lockdown.
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