Published: 06:00, 01 August 2019
| Updated: 08:27, 01 August 2019
The long-awaited new Aldi store in Hythe will open in September, we can reveal.
The multi-million pound project, which is being built on the Kengate Industrial Estate in Dymchurch Road, has been delayed several times, but bosses have now confirmed the shop will open on Thursday, September 26.
The German chain's existing store in the high street will shut on the same day "to provide consistency for customers".
Aldi has decided to relocate from its smaller town centre store to provide a larger range of stock and boost profits.
When its new 1,800 sq m site opens, it is expected to employ 50 staff, providing 75 parking spaces.
The lion’s share of staff will come from the existing high street store, it is understood.
But the project has faced delays as it was initially thought the discount giant would move to the town’s outskirts last summer.
The demolition of former industrial units at the site was delayed after harmful substances were found, pushing the project back.
The site was previously home to a laundry, garages and other small businesses.
Aldi is currently advertising for roles including store assistants and apprentices as its opening date nears.
A spokesman said: “The development of our new Hythe store is progressing well as we move towards opening on September 26, providing a larger, brighter store for local residents.”
It is not yet known what the future holds for Aldi's prime high street store.
KentOnline asked the supermarket for a comment about the site’s future, but did not receive a response.
Aldi's switch to an out-of-town spot has been met with a mixed reaction from residents.
Cynthia Green, who is a regular visitor to Hythe, said: “Before now, elderly people who came into the town could go to the Post Office and then go shopping, but they won’t be able to do that with the new Aldi.
“The high street shop was very handy for elderly people.
“There’s also the problem of the Dymchurch Road, which is blocked constantly as it is.”
Hythe resident Lynette Wallace agreed, saying: “I used to go to Aldi sometimes, and I will go and give [the new store] a try when it opens, but the traffic coming off the Marsh area is already bad enough and this might make it worse.
“There are definitely pros and cons.”
Sylvia Coles, from Folkestone, feels the new store can make life much easier for a lot of people.
“If I want to use a big Aldi, I have to go down to Dover at the moment, the others are too small,” she said.
“It surely can’t make the A259 any worse than it already is. I shall be among the first to shop there.”
Sally Champion, from Greatstone, said: “I have always liked Aldi, and I think all the parking spaces the new place will bring will be great.”