Monday 20 January 2014

Lidl switches from hard to soft discounting in France - an inevitable move in the UK?

With increases in outlet size from 6,000 to 12,000 sq. ft., Lidl is offering a new range of regional products and extending its offering to include many more national brands to attract a wealthier clientele.

This is a real breakthrough for the French subsidiary of Lidl in its second largest market. According to Deloitte, it is the world's seventh largest distributor, with an estimated $87.8 billion in 2011 sales and 12,000 stores worldwide. In Germany, it has 3,300 stores and achieved a turnover estimated at €16.2 billion in 2012.

Lidl has operated their classic German model in France since 1988, and grown to 1,500 stores. It is the largest of the hard discounters (Netto, Leader Price, Aldi, Dia). But, like its competitors, it has stalled for four years in overall seventh place with a market share of 4.6%.

Whilst this Lidl move in France will provide useful insights on priority brands and eventual brand/surrogate-label balance, it gives time for UK suppliers to explore their options as Lidl UK, and possibly other discounters, embark on the next evolutionary stage in order to capitalise on the continuing flat-line conditions in retail.

Time for ALL NAMs – and retailers  to pop into a local Lidl, and reflect on where the offering  and their brands – could go, as they follow the French lead…? 

Might also be worth dusting down your EU network and monitoring progress via your French colleagues....

(Thx Joe)

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