(Bloomberg) --

Aldi is giving its UK staff a pay rise for the second time this year as the German discount supermarket attracts more shoppers seeking to cope with the higher cost of living.

Starting in September, Aldi will pay store workers at least £10.50 ($12.59) an hour and £11.95 in London, the highest pay among supermarkets in Britain, according to a statement Monday. The 40 pence rise also applies to breaks in shifts and will cover about 26,000 employees, costing Aldi £43 million.

It follows February’s hike in which the company raised employee pay to £10.10 an hour nationally, up from £9.55, and £11.55 in London, up from £11.07.

British consumers are increasingly choosing discount supermarkets and buying own-label goods rather than branded products as they try to save money on their weekly shop. Two out of three shoppers in the UK visited an Aldi or Lidl in the 12 weeks to July 10 amid soaring food price inflation, recent Kantar data shows. 

In that period sales at Lidl and Aldi jumped 13.9% and 11.3% respectively while sales fell at most major supermarket chains in the UK. Aldi is close to knocking WM Morrisons Supermarkets Ltd off its perch as the nation’s fourth-largest supermarket with a 9.1% market share compared with Morrisons’ 9.4%. Aldi has more than 970 stores across Britain. 

Employee pay at supermarkets has become a hot topic. Earlier this month J Sainsbury Plc won a battle against a group of shareholders calling on the nation’s second-largest grocer to commit to wage levels calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, a campaigning organization. Sainsbury said it already pays its employees the living wage and urged investors to reject the move, arguing that it would hand too much control to a third party.

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