Aldi has revealed plans to spend £550 million on opening new stores and upgrading existing ones in the UK this year, as the discount supermarket steams ahead with countrywide expansion.

The chain, which was named 2023’s cheapest market by consumer group Which?, said more than 1,500 jobs would be created from new shop openings.

Giles Hurley, Aldi’s UK and Ireland chief executive, said this year’s expansion plans are aiming to address the fact that “there are still areas of the country that don’t have an Aldi, or that need more or larger stores to meet demand”.

Aldi has previously revealed Maidenhead is one of the areas the supermarket chain wishes to open a new store in.

Last year Aldi launched its first Slough store to crowds of people.

The German-based chain, which overtook Morrisons as the fourth largest supermarket in 2022, has surged in popularity in recent years thanks to its lower prices and own-brand products.

It hailed its “best ever” Christmas performance, with UK sales up 8 per cent year-on-year to a record of more than £1.5 billion in the four weeks to December 24.

Alongside rival discounter Lidl, they have grown their share of the grocery market as shoppers looked to make savings in the face of higher inflation.

Aldi did not specify how many new shops will be opened this year, but is expected to give more details in the coming months.

The more than £550-million investment will also go towards upgrading its existing stores, warehouses and UK offices, which it said will open up further job opportunities.

Aldi has more than 1,000 shops in the UK and wants to open another 500 in the coming years.

It had previously set a goal of having 1,200 shops by the end of 2025.

Mr Hurley added: “We’re continuing to welcome more and more new customers through our doors – with people coming for our low prices but staying for our award-winning quality and British sourcing.

“We now have more than 1,000 stores across the UK but there are plenty more Aldi stores still to come, in 2024 and beyond.”

The chain said it was on the lookout for sites in town centres or on the outskirts of towns to set up shop.

It previously said it was searching for sites in priority locations including parts of London, Penzance, Bath, Maidenhead, Worthing, Warrington, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Derby, Birmingham, Cambridge, York, Cardiff and Cathcart.