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Aldi to Open 80 UK Stores in 2016

Aldi is gunning for Britain’s “big four” supermarkets this year.

The German discount grocer recently revealed its intent to open 80 new outposts in the U.K. in 2016, which will bring the chain’s total to more than 700 stores, as part of a two-year, 600 million pound (roughly $879 million) investment strategy. Previously announced plans projected 1,000 British locations by 2022.

“This has been another excellent year for Aldi,” Jonathan Neale, joint managing director of buying at Aldi UK, told the Mail on Sunday. “We’re seeing a permanent, structural change in the shopping habits of U.K. consumers. They now know they can get all the products they want at significantly cheaper prices than at other supermarkets.”

Aldi, along with its homegrown rival Lidl, currently controls about 10 percent of the British grocery market, according to numbers from market research firm Kantar Worldwide. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons have all suffered from the cheap chains’ popularity among the country’s increasingly thrifty shoppers.

In addition to opening new stores, Aldi is also launching e-commerce in the U.K. this year, selling wine by the case online in the first quarter, followed by non-food special offers in Q2, available for home delivery or third-party pickup.

While Aldi is best known for its low-cost groceries, it does occasionally offer apparel and accessories as part of its limited-time Special Buys. To kick off the New Year, its U.S. locations (of which there are nearly 1,400 across 32 states) are selling performance wear that ranges in price from $3.99 for a 3-pack of socks to $9.99 for women’s moisture-wicking capris.