Photo: LIDL España
Spaniards are consuming more but less frequency and without leaving home, and price is becoming an ever more critical factor. These are the findings of the recently published Kantar data, which show that each shop is 14.1% larger, but visits to supermarkets have fallen by 2.7%. In 2020, consumers preferred local supermarkets, which reached a share of 26.2%, while online sales reached 3.1% (up 62% in revenue terms). During the Christmas period, hypermarkets and the cash and carries recorded their best numbers, reaching a 15.4% share.
The traditional Big 3 (Mercadona, Carrefour and DIA) lost market share in 2020. While Mercadona maintained its leadership, reaching 9 out of 10 Spanish households and with a market share of 24.5%, its share was down 1.1 points from 2019. The suggested causes are the delay in setting up an online channel and not offering local stores across the country. Carrefour’s hypermarket channel suffered during the pandemic, and the retailer’s market share was down 0.3 points to 8.4%. DIA’s performance improved markedly compared to previous years, thanks to its extensive network of stores. Nevertheless, it lost 0.6 points in 2020, with its share dipping to 5.8%. Replacing DIA in the top-three was Lidl, which gained 0.5 points to achieve a 6.1% share of the Spanish market.
Photo: LIDL GB
Lidl UK has suffered heavy losses after investing in new stores. A pre-tax loss of £25.2 million was reported for the year up to February 29th 2020. This comes after registering profits of £19 million in the previous year. The losses come after the German-owned discounter invested £654 million in opening 51 stores as well as a new warehouse in Scotland, while expanding its UK workforce by 8% to 23,249 employees.
Lidl has continued to take on new employees to meet the surging demand during the current pandemic. It posted a record 17.9% increase in total year-on-year sales during the four weeks to December 27.
Lidl has opened over 50 new stores in the past year to approach its target of 1,000 outlets by 2023. The discounter has more than 800 stores and 13 distribution centres across the UK and plans to open a new £70 million headquarters in Tolworth, Surrey, by the end of 2021.
Photo: Lidl UK
German discounter Lidl has been crowned the UK’s cheapest supermarket of 2020. Aldi followed close behind in the Which? Rankings, which tracked the prices of 45 popular products in eight major supermarkets between January and December 2020. The average price of each item was calculated over the year and the total average cost of all 45 items in the “trolley”, taking into account the weight and quality of items. This was the first time Which? has included Lidl and Aldi in its annual study, which now includes own-label items as well as branded ones.
Lidl’s basket cost £42.67 on average, 34p less than its rival Aldi. Asda was the third-cheapest supermarket (£48.71). Waitrose was the most expensive supermarket in the study (£68.69). Which? also found marked price differences between own-label products at Waitrose and Lidl. Online retailer Ocado was the second most expensive supermarket in the study (£66.83), followed by Sainsbury’s (£56.38).
Lidl has followed the lead of Aldi and Tesco by announcing it will refund over £100 million in business rates relief aimed at supporting UK businesses during the pandemic. Lidl GB said that the business rates holiday allowed the discounter to make significant quick unplanned investments in its operations, infrastructure and people to manage customer demand.
In the past nine months, Lidl has recruited 2,500 temporary colleagues and has been dramatically increasing stock levels, investing in infrastructure to ensure security of supply, and introducing safety equipment, including 4 million masks and 5,000 protective checkout screens.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO Lidl GB, said: “In March, Lidl, along with the rest of the supermarket sector, found itself on the front line of a truly unique set of circumstances and was incredibly grateful for support from government. We’ve been considering this for some time, and we are now in a position to confirm that we will be refunding this money as we believe it is the right thing to do. We feel confident that the business is well positioned to navigate and adapt to any further challenges brought by Covid-19.”
Lidl said it is continuing to invest heavily to ensure its people, customers and suppliers stay safe. Its long-term strategy, however, remains unchanged with the business continuing to grow with new customers shopping in stores each week, and its commitment to never being beaten on price stronger than ever.
In July, the discounter announced its intention to open 25 new stores by Christmas this year and is on track to meet that target. Its £1.3bn investment plans for 2021 and 2022 will drive the opening of 100 additional stores across the UK, creating around 4,000 jobs. The retailer also recently announced its commitment to increase the wages of all colleagues on hourly rates, in line with those advocated by the Living Wage Foundation, directly benefiting over 80 per cent of its workforce.
Discount retailer Lidl is expanding its range in the Balearics, adding a wider selection of local products at its 23 stores on the islands. In a statement, the company said: “The aim is to encourage people to buy Balearic products, to contribute to the continuity of small producers who are facing closure because the State of Emergency has reduced their market access.”
The move is part of Lidl’s support for the Consell de Mallorca’s call to promote agri-food products from the archipelago. Between March and May, Lidl increased the amount of fruit and vegetables it buys from local farmers to more than 15,000 kilos of produce a week, including aubergine, courgette, onion, potato, cucumber, white pepper and Ramallet tomatoes.
The company buys produce from 16 local suppliers and now sells around 60 items from the Balearic Islands at its stores in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. In the last 5 years, Lidl has purchased around €81 million worth of produce from suppliers in the Balearic Islands. In 2019 alone, its purchases of local products amounted to €17 million, of which 17% was exported to Germany, France and Italy.
Lidl’s new store in Peachtree Corners, Atlanta is the German retailer’s fifth in Georgia and 99th Lidl in the US. Having opened its first US outlet in 2017, the discounter aims to continue its steady expansion along the East Coast, with the target of reaching 1,500 stores across the country, according to Progressive Grocer.
Lidl’s US headquarters is located in Arlington County, Virginia. Its newest fulfilment facility opened recently in Perryville between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The 705,000-sq.-ft. facility is the smallest of the company’s DCs. The company’s first distribution centre in Fredricksburg, Virginia, just south of Washington D.C. measures 919,000-sq.-ft. An 850,000-sq.-ft. facility that opened in the summer of 2017 is located midway between Greensboro and Durham, NC. A fourth facility, the company’s largest to date at 925,000-sq.-ft., will be located in southeast of Atlanta and an opening date has not been disclosed.
Lidl operates more than 11,000 stores in 32 countries, employing about 287,000 employees worldwide. It currently operates more than 75 stores in nine East Coast states.
German Discount retailer Lidl has opened its 100th store in Bulgaria. According to a press release, the new outlet covers 1,892 square metres and will offer 20 jobs. This was the seventh store Lidl opened in Bulgaria in 2019 Lidl, along with a renovation programme for 60 of its existing stores. The retailer plans to open at least five new stores in 2020, most of which will be located in the larger cities on the Black Sea coastline. Lidl entered the Bulgarian market in 2010 and currently operates stores in 47 cities in the country, employing 2,700 people.
Lidl Poland has begun labelling its organic vegetables using a non-invasive laser technique to avoid using packaging, paper, ink or glue, reports portalspozywczy.pl. The technique is already being used with the retailer’s organic butternut squash and celery, as of the beginning of December. The technique is entirely safe and does not affect the structure and nutritional value of the products in any way, leaving just a “tattoo” on the vegetable using a concentrated light beam. Information that these are organic products can be found directly on the skin.
The Schwarz Group, which includes Lidl and Kaufland, is one of the largest retailers on the international stage. The Group has developed a comprehensive REsetPlastic strategy aimed at reducing waste, recycling, eliminating plastics, and education.
German discounter Lidl is growing its presence in Scotland. According to the BBC, the retailer has recently opened a new 58,500 m2 Scottish distribution centre in North Lanarkshire costing £70 million. The warehouse is Lidl’s largest in the UK and will serve the company’s 99 stores in Scotland. The investment means that around 600 employees have relocated from Livingston to the Eurocentral centre, with scope for a further 250 jobs in the near future. A press release issued by Lidl said, “This new centre represents a pivotal moment in our ambitious growth plans across Scotland.” Earlier this year, the retailer announced that it plans to open a further 12 stores in Scotland over the next three years in Dundee, East Kilbride, Cowdenbeath, Larkhall and Dumbarton.
Photo: BBC News
German consumers have once voted for the best fresh produce departments among the country’s retailers and the winners were Globus, Edeka and Lidl.
Globus was the winner in the hypermarkets category, Edeka in the full range supermarkets category and Lidl in the discount category.
The Fruchthandel Magazine retail awards were announced yesterday in Berlin during the Fruitnet World of Fresh Ideas event held on the eve of Fruit Logistica 2017.
They are the result of a poll of 9,000 German households by consumer research company GfK.
GfK asked consumers to rate the retailers according to factors including the regular and reliable availability of a full range of really fresh produce; the layout, attractiveness and cleanliness of the department; the availability of staff to give help and advice; and the availability of special items such as organic and convenience products.
They were also asked to rate the value for money offered by the retailer and their level of confidence in its food safety.
“The survey shows yet again how important the fresh produce department is to the overall image the retailer,” said Robert Broadfoot, managing director of Fruchthandel Magazine, Dusseldorf.
“It is especially pleasing to note that consumers are continuing to place increasing importance on the quality of fresh produce and the level of staff service.
“Retailers who have not had these the factors high on their list of priorities before are now beginning to pay much more attention to them. That is good news for the consumer,” he said.
Photos of award winners courtesy of Messe Berlin