German discount retailer Aldi have announced plans to invest $3.4bn (€3bn) in their US operations. The announcement comes as rival retailer Lidl open their first US stores this week.

Lidl will open nine stores in three states, Virginia, North & South Carolina later this week. The discounter has plans to open as many as 100 stores within the US by the summer of 2018.Lidl currently has 10,000 stores in 27 European countries.

Aldi on the other hand first came to the US market in 1976 opening its first store in Iowa.The brand currently operates 1,600 stores in the US, across 35 states.

Aldi announced this week that the $3.4 billion capital investment in the brand’s US operations which is expected to create up to 25,000 new jobs. The company says it will have 2,500 stores nationwide by 2022, which according to some experts would make it the third-largest supermarket chain in the US. The supermarket company also said it plans to spend an additional $1.6 billion to remodel 1,300 of its existing stores by 2020

According to Liz Ruggles, a company spokeswoman for Aldi, “We’re doing what we’ve been doing to ensure we’re the low-cost leader,” she said. “We’ll continue to maintain that.”

The expansion from the both discount retailers comes at an interesting time for the US grocery market. Food prices in the have seen significant deflation with prices dropping for 17 straight months, the longest pattern of deflation in more than 60 years.

Within the Irish Market, Lidl currently sits in fourth place with a grocery market share Lidl has of 11.4%. Aldi sit just 0.2 per cent behind this.