SUPERMARKET giant Aldi has announced that it is on the hunt for new store locations across Hampshire towns and cities, potentially creating around 500 new jobs across the county.

The German retailer is on the lookout for a variety of sites, including opening in some places for the first time as well as adding to existing stores in places like Southampton and Eastleigh.

The UK’s fifth largest supermarket has been on an expansion drive in recent years as it targets having 1,200 stores open by 2025.

Among the Hampshire towns it hopes to open in are Lymington, Ringwood and Totton, while its ambitions for New Milton remain in place despite the recent refusal of a planning application by New Forest District Council for a site in Caird Avenue.

Aldi, which currently has more than 880 stores across the UK, has identified 18 Hampshire locations where it is looking for freehold town-centre or edge-of-centre sites suitable for development.

It says each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000 sq ft store with around 100 parking spaces, ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access.

The supermarket said stores typically create 30 jobs, meaning if all 18 locations were found then approximately 540 new jobs would be made available.

Ciaran Aldridge, national property director at Aldi UK, said: “Aldi is growing rapidly and we are welcoming around a million new customers into our stores every year.

“But there are also hundreds of towns across the UK where there is not an Aldi, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of people who can’t easily access the high quality, affordable food our customers love.

“We are willing to explore all opportunities, including developer-led schemes or existing retail units.”

The full list of locations it is targeting in Hampshire are:

  • Aldershot
  • Petersfield
  • Fair Oak
  • Farnborough
  • Havant
  • Locks Heath
  • Waterlooville
  • Basingstoke
  • Andover
  • Eastleigh
  • Gosport
  • Hedge End
  • Lymington
  • New Milton
  • Ringwood
  • Southampton
  • Totton
  • Winchester