Supermarket giant Coles will open 70 new stores in the next three years, creating more than 16,000 jobs.
The new stores will be located across the country and are expected to create 8500 full-time equivalent positions, and more than 8200 construction jobs.
Chief executive Ian McLeod said the $1.1 billion investment in new stores reflected the company’s confidence in the future for the local food retail sector.
“We are optimistic about the future and are firmly committed to customers, team members and communities across Australia,” Mr McLeod said.
“These jobs will kick start careers for thousands of young Australians and provide new employment opportunities for thousands of other Australians looking for new jobs.”
Coles’ expansion plans are in contrast to closures and downsizing by other major employers, including Qantas and car manufacturers Toyota and Holden.
Coles has opened 100 new stores in the past five years and refurbished another 350.