LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - German-owned discount supermarket Lidl GB has vowed to spend 15 billion pounds ($19 billion) with British suppliers over the next five years, commiting to increase sales of local meat, poultry and fresh produce.
Lidl and rival Aldi have changed the shape of the UK grocery sector, stealing market share from industry leader Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons by offering cut-throat prices in no-frills stores.
To deepen its relations with British suppliers, Lidl, part of the Schwarz retail group, said it would introduce longer-term contracts with suppliers to help them invest and expand.
"Our business is only ever as good as our suppliers', so our investments and commitments are key to ensuring that they can invest and expand with us," said Ryan McDonnell, Chief Commercial Officer at Lidl GB.
Lidl GB currently trades from 770 stores and has a market share of 6%. It is planning to open 50-60 new stores across 2019.
Its sales rose 8.2% in the 12 weeks to Oct. 6, according to industry data published on Tuesday.
$1 = 0.7854 pounds Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by James Davey