Aldi is to pump £600m into beefing up its presence in the UK with plans to launch 60 new stores next year, revamp its existing shops and open a new regional distribution hub.

The German retailer’s biggest-ever investment in the UK will create further pressure on Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons, which are already feeling the impact of more customers choosing to shop at the discounters.

Under the plans, the number of staff will double to 24,000 by the end of this year from 12,000 in 2012, according to the Mail Online.

Aldi is also set to open a second convenience store in London, with a shop in Tooting Bec, south London earmarked for early next year.

The retailer also plans to open a new regional distribution hub in Cardiff in 2016.

Joint managing director Matthew Barnes told the Mail: “We have been happy for our growth to be below the radar. We are even more happy if the other grocers are not worried about us.”

On the grocery price war, which has seen the likes of Tesco and Morrisons slash the prices across a number of products, Barnes said: “This price war magnifies our offer. Everyone talks about narrowing the gap on Aldi highlighting that we have the best offers. Plus it spells out to shoppers that if they are only narrowing the gap it means that they don’t want to match us on price.”

The expansion plans come after it was announced that Aldi co-founder Karl Albrecht died last week aged 94. Known as a recluse, Albrecht was Germany’s second richest man, amassing a fortune of more than $20bn (£11.7bn).