Take a look inside the huge new Lidl warehouse next to the M6 - PICTURES and VIDEO
A brand new Lidl distribution centre has opened its doors in the Black Country – serving more than 50 stores and creating around 450 jobs.
The 450,000 sq ft warehouse – which measures the equivalent of ten football pitches – has been built near Junction 9 of the M6 in Wednesbury.
Bosses have hailed it as being the perfect location in the heart of the Midlands and intend to take on a further 100 people by the end of 2017.
The site is stacked with masses of food and other goods ready to be delivered to the budget supermarket's stores across the region.
Richard Shaw, regional director, explained: "Wednesbury has fantastic infrastructure and superb transport routes.
"It really is the perfect location for us. At this moment in time we are the fastest growing retailer in the UK. It's a very exciting period in time for us.
"We plan to add another three distribution centres throughout the UK and Wednesbury will currently be the largest distribution centre we have.
"We have a warehouse team, sales and property team and the investment in the warehouse has been huge."
The centre has sprung up over the last two years and will have been spotted by the thousands of drivers who pass it every day on the motorway.
It will operate seven days a week and has been created to supply Lidl's growing number of stores across the West Midlands area.
The floor consists of a variety of different food areas including a consumable, chilled and recycling area and a frozen chamber with temperatures up to -26 degrees.
The chain has enjoyed a boom in recent years, significantly increasing its number of supermarkets due to its rising popularity among shoppers.
Bosses from Lidl looked at a number of sites for the development but opted for Wednesbury because it wanted to access a 'sufficiently large employment pool'.
A number of recruitment days have been held over the last few months with bosses working alongside Sandwell Council and job centres.
Mr Shaw continued: "We have worked closely with the council and job centres to be able to bring the best economy here.
"We want to push towards another 100 people to come and work for us this year too."
More than 10,000 applicants applied for positions at the site. To ensure all the new roles were filled Lidl recently extended its store in High Street, West Bromwich and opened a new branch in Stallings Lane, Kingswinford in 2014.
Speaking about Lidl's popularity in the UK.
Mr Shaw said: "We have about 650 stores in the UK at the moment and we are looking to move towards 1,500.
"This distribution centre comes as part of Lidl's 1.5bn share in the UK market and we cannot wait to see what the future holds.
"This centre will be at the helm of supplying stores across our network in the UK with the freshest produce direct from Wednesbury - it's exciting times."
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