Supermarket chain Aldi plans to create 140 new full-time jobs in the west of Ireland over the next two years and invest €63 million in the region.

The German retailer will open six new stores in Galway and Mayo and upgrade four existing stores in Galway, creating 350 construction jobs during construction.

Aldi today opened its €10 million store in Ballina, its fifth store in the Mayo area, and created 30 new jobs.

Aldi’s manager-director Niall O’Connor said supermarkets are “very aware” of the impact of the cost of living crisis on people.

“Aldi has always put value first because we know that weekly shopping is one of the biggest expenses of every household.

“It is more important than ever to be able to offer the best value in the most convenient location for our customers.”

Food inflation hit 9.5% in the three months to August, the highest level in 14 years, according to research group Kantar.

As a result, annual consumer sales could rise by €662, Kantar said.

Annual inflation in Ireland slowed to 8.9% in August compared to 9.6% in July, preliminary EU estimates show.

But it could be a temporary respite later this year as energy prices and food and other commodity prices soar into double digits.

O’Connor said Aldi is working with its suppliers to help customers manage price pressures.

“Aldi Ireland is no stranger to the current reality of doing business during inflationary times, and we understand that the same is true of a strong network of local suppliers,” said O’Connor.

“Working with our growing network of local suppliers, we remain mindful of the challenges facing our customers and will continue to work hard as we support them to weather this storm.”

Aldi’s six new stores will be located in Ballina, Tuam, Mountbelew, Athenry, Ballyhaunis and Monivea Road in Galway.

We are upgrading four stores: Portumna, Clifden, Galway Retail Park and Ballinasloe.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar called the investment “great news”.

“The government is committed to creating jobs for everyone who wants it, in the county they want it for, so we are pleased to see that investment is well spread out and could allow for more.”

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