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Germany retailer Aldi to invest 5.2 bln euros in stores

FRANKFURT, July 26 (Reuters) - German discount grocery chain Aldi North said Wednesday it was planning to spend 5.2 billion euros ($6 billion) to revamp its stores in Germany and around Europe.

Aldi and its rival Lidl have expanded rapidly in Europe, putting pressure on Britain's big supermarkets and also challenging U.S. retailers.

German brothers Karl and Theodor Albrecht pioneered the Aldi discount store concept, setting up two sister businesses serving north and south Germany in 1962 and then expanding to much of Europe as well as the United States and Australia.

Aldi North's sister chain Aldi South announced plans in June to invest $3.4 billion to expand its U.S. store base to 2,500 by 2022.

Theodor had placed control of Aldi North in the hands of three foundations, all of which must approve any strategic decisions.

Aldi North most recently said it had just over 4,800 stores in Europe. It operates 1,600 stores in the United States and earlier this year said it would add another 400 by the end of 2018. ($1 = 0.8593 euros) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Tom Sims. Editing by Jane Merriman)