Published: 12:34, 16 June 2021
| Updated: 15:35, 16 June 2021
Supermarket giant Aldi is hoping to expand across Kent.
The chain has announced it is on the lookout for 16 new store locations in the county, including in Ashford, Thanet, Canterbury and Dover.
Aldi, the UK's fifth largest supermarket, has been on an expansion drive in recent years, opening around one new store a week on average to meet demand from new customers.
It is now looking for freehold town-centre or edge-of-centre sites suitable for development.
Bosses says each site should be about 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 full list of locations it is targeting in Kent are: Ashford, Broadstairs, Canterbury, Chatham, Cranbrook, Dover, Ebbsfleet, Folkestone, Gillingham, Gravesend, Maidstone, Margate, Paddock Wood, Rochester, Tunbridge Wells and Tenterden.
Many of these towns are already home to an Aldi, which was founded in Germany in 1946.
Ciaran Aldridge, national property director at Aldi UK, said: "We have been investing in Britain for more than 30 years now, but we know that there are still areas that either do not have an Aldi at all, or that need another store to meet customer demand.
"Shoppers are increasingly looking to get unbeatable prices on their weekly shop without compromising on quality.
"That’s why, more so than ever, we’re keen to explore all opportunities to open new stores across the country."
There are currently more than 900 Aldi stores in the UK.
But no planning application has been submitted and the land remains vacant.